Raggiana Bird of Paradise
Paradisaea (Latin, paradise); raggiana (named for Marquis FM Raggi, Italian naturalist and collector in New Guinea).
Sexually dimorphic. Adult male, 34 cm (excluding central tail wires); adult female, 33 cm. Adult male has yellow cowl, iridescent green throat separated from breast by yellow border, body and wings brown, other than yellow stripe on lesser coverts, and crimson flank plumes in south becoming more orange northwards. Female marked by chocolate brown face, yellow crown and nape, and paler underparts.
Fruits, figs and arthropods.
Lowland, hill and lower montane forests, secondary growth, gardens and forest edges; 0-1550m.
Polygynous. Males display in leks on traditional sites in tree canopy; most leks are long-lived. During courtship male briefly holds wings in front of body and throws flank plumes over back, then hops up and back along perch raising or lowering bill on each trip; he again raises plumes over back before moving to low point of perch and hanging facing downwards with plumes out; male lowers body along perch, extends wings, erects plumes and hops along branch calling, followed by bending forward over perch, extending wings and plumes.
Breeding occurs at least April-December. Only females build and attend to nests. Incubation 18 days; nestling period 17-20 days. Known to hybridise with Lesser, Greater, Emperor and Blue Birds of Paradise.
Status and conservation
Not threatened; common, widespread, relatively tolerant of human presence.
Papua New Guinea: southern and eastern regions, west to the Fly and Strickland Rivers and marginally into the Trans-Fly region in south and west to upper Ramu River and to Gogol River near Madang in north.