Birds of Paradise

Little baby birds, called paradise,despite the size of a lark (or even a jay) - close relatives of our crows. Almost all representatives of the known 45 species are residents of Australia. And only one settled in Madagascar. These exotic birds live mainly in the forest, they build nests in the highlands.

The most famous is the Paradise apoda, named by Linnaeus as the paradise bird. Feathering on the neck and head of the bird is dark yellow, on the forehead and throat - golden green, tail and wings are painted in brown.

All birds of paradise have a strong elongated beak. The tail of the majority is long, stepped. Feather with metallic luster, dark, bright. The predominant colors are blue, red, yellow. Males are always brighter, with "decorating" feathers on the head, tail or sides, which are demonstrated with current complex games.

The first in Europe on the existence of these birds was recognized by Magellan, who received a feather as a gift from one of the sultans of the local Moluccas.

The navigators, subdued by its beauty,spread a fairy tale that birds of paradise live only in the sky and, just touching the land, die. Even the incubation of eggs, they claimed, took place in flight: one bird laying eggs on the back of the other. And they ate exclusively dew. Paradise birds supposedly had a miraculous power to heal.

Of course, such stories aroused curiosity andthe desire to acquire such an amazing living "decoration" for your own home. Merchants, thirsting for profits and with all their strength supporting the legend, removed the unfortunate birds feet.

For a long time, sailors and traders cheatedEuropeans, selling mutilated birds. Truth was revealed thanks to John Lesema, who told after the journey about how the birds of paradise actually look and why until now they were considered to be legless in Europe. It turns out that local hunters simply cut off the feet of the killed birds and dried only the carcass.

They feed on these exotic birds in fact not dew, but berries, seeds, lizards and tree frogs. They live mostly alone, occasionally in pairs.

Particularly attractive birds of paradise duringthe performance of their marriage dances, when they take all sorts of intricate poses and show their plump plumage to the weak sex. On one tree at this time, you can count up to three dozen flirting with the female males. She at the same time ruffles the "golden" wings and hides the head under them, becoming like a chrysanthemum.

But, except for dancing in the trees, birds of paradisearrange performances and on forest edges. The male, having found a suitable place, cleans it from the grass and fallen leaves, and then tramples on the future scene. Having finished cooking on the ground, he rushes to the nearest trees and bushes and cuts off the leaves on them, preparing comfortable places for viewing the arriving "spectators".

The construction of the nest, the incubation of the demolished eggs and the feeding of the hatched chicks lie on the female. The male does not take care of the offspring.
Nests are located mainly on the branches of the tree, only a large bird of paradise, called the royal one, prefers to build nests in hollows. Eggs in the clutch a little (usually one or two).

These birds, as it turned out, are quite easycarry the bondage and keep them not so difficult. It is very important to provide space (a cage or a small enclosure will be small) and proper nutrition (fruits, insects). In captivity, the life expectancy of babies is about fifteen years.

Young males are similar in feathering to females. Only fully grown up, they "put on" their graceful ornaments. The protracted molt (4-5 months) passes every year.

Wedding ideas paradise birds are able to give and in captivity, but, again - with the appropriate care. But the birds in captivity are extremely rare.

Birds of paradise today have become very rare and are on the verge of total annihilation.

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