An Indonesian endemic, the Red Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra, also Cendrawasih Merah) is distributed to lowland rainforests of Waigeo and Batanta islands of Raja Ampat, West Papua. This species shares its home with another bird-of-paradise, the Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise. They are easier to see because they dance in the trees in the same place and don’t seem to mind spectators sitting in the hide below.
Large, up to 33 cm long, brown and yellow with a dark brown iris, grey legs and yellow bill. The male has an emerald green face, a pair of elongated black corkscrew-shaped tail wires, dark green feather pompoms above each eye and a train of glossy crimson red plumes with whitish tips at either side of the breast. The male measures up to 72 cm long, including the ornamental red plumes that require at least six years to fully attain. The female is similar but smaller in size, with a dark brown face and has no ornamental red plumes. The diet consists mainly of fruits, berries and arthropods.
For a stunning professional shot by a Nat Geo photographer, read the fascinating story of the lengths they go through to get these shots! There’s also a video showing a Nat Geo crew filming other Birds of Paradise which shows more of their technique. Climbing trees is probably out of scope for the typical eco-tourist!
This is my “real life” pitiful attempt to get them dancing on video.
And this one appears to have been filmed on Batanta (Waigeo doesn’t have that sign overhead) by someone staying at a dive resort on Kri Island. The resorts are quite nice, but not cheap! Bonus footage of a Paradise Kingfisher!