Today we are going to explore the world of one of the most beautiful birds, the Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise. This particular species was another recommendation from our faithful reader, Jamie and I can’t thank him enough for the suggestion. You may remember learning about the Six-Plumed Bird-of-Paradise a while back…remember, the one with the elaborate mating dance? Well, it is said that the Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise has one of the most elaborate and spectacular mating dances of all these beautiful birds. Intrigued? I know, I am so let’s pack our bags and head to Papua New Guinea to discover a little more about their National bird.
A Splash of Colour
Before getting into their courtship display, let’s take a look at the appearance of the Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise, also known as the Count Raggi’s Bird-of-Paradise, which is actually kind of fun to say. Go ahead and try it. The Count Raggi males are a beautiful maroon colour with a blue bill, emerald green throat with a splash of yellow on their eyes, feet, collar and of course their golden crown. As usual with these types of birds, the female is remarkably unspectacular with their boring reddish-brown colour and lack of long tail feathers. Although, their boring colours still manage to drive the males crazy as they will perform a wild dance just to get their attention.
Like other Birds-of-Paradise the Count Raggi variety are polygamous where the males will congregate in “mating arenas” known as a lek, where they will compete for the attention of the ladies. As you would expect, the competition inside of this arena is formidable so these birds always have to bring their A-Game if they want to go home a winner. As such, the males will often fight for the best perch to show off their skills. Once you get a good perch….never let it go. Now that the male was successful in obtaining a nice spot on the stage they will do their best wing clapping and head shaking to woo their female counterpart. Basically it is equivalent to us using a cheesy pickup line in a bar…only they look much more elegant with their dancing then I ever have.
I think the best way to describe their courtship ritual is to just show you. Therefore, we will end our trip to Papua New Guinea with a short video clip of a male trying their best to impress a lady friend. Enjoy.