Lesser Bird-of-Paradise

(Paradisaea minor)


Lesser Bird-of-Paradise IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal



Head: Short, velvety feathers of forehead, lores and chin black glossed green; throat, foreparts of cheeks and foreneck iridescent oil-green; crown yellow; inside of mouth pale aqua; bill pale bluish-grey; iris pale yellow.

Upper part: Upper back yellow, darker than crown; remainder of upperparts maroon-brown with yellow edging to feathers of secondary and lesser wing-coverts.

Under part: Vinaceous brown, paler on under wing-coverts and under tail-coverts; from flanks and sides of breast spectacular tufts of long, filamentous plumes, yellow becoming white towards tips with traces of brownish-pink; some plumes basally suffused with deep red.

Tail: Maroon-brown; central retrices elongated as two wire-like plumes dark maroon at base gradually becoming more blackish toward tips.

Legs: Brownish to bluish-grey.




Head: Forehead, crown, sides of head, chin and throat blackish maroon; nape dull yellow; bill dull blue-grey; iris lime yellow.

Upper part: Hindneck and mantle dull yellow, gradually becoming yellowish-olive on upper back; remainder of the upper parts maroon-brown, more maroon than in males.

Under part: Breast to under tail-coverts white, tinged with maroon on under tail-coverts; axillaries, thighs and underwing largely maroon-brown.

Did you know?
that the Birds of Paradise got their name because specimens brought back to Europe from trading expeditions had been prepared by New Guinea locals by removing their wings and feet, which led to the belief that the birds never landed but were kept permanently aloft by their plumes.


Class AVES
Suborder OSCINES
Name (Scientific) Paradisaea minor
Name (English) Lesser Bird-of-Paradise
Name (French) Petit paradisier
Name (German) Kleiner Paradiesvogel
Name (Spanish) Ave del Paraíso pequeña
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Arthur Chapman



Range Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Habitat Tropical rainforest
Wild population Unknown, but reported to be common (1998) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 47 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

Lesser Bird-of-Paradise


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 13 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Anna Harris

Why do zoos keep this animal

The lesser bird of Paradise is still rated to be at "lower risk", but its habitat the tropical rainforest of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya are increasingly threatened. With a view of building up a self-sustaining zoo population, an International Studbook has been established under the WAZA umbrella.

Lesser birds of Paradise are very attractive as they are colourful and show a fascinating courting behaviour. They are thus an ideal ambassador species for their threatened habitat.