"The lust for divine love in paradise,
Could not bring from heavens to the earth,
the birds of paradise sing the divine love song,
but they tend to soar away in deep blue skies."
~ Jay P Narain
Birds of Paradise (which have a namesake flower) are several species of birds found on the island of New Guinea as well as the nearby islands groups of the Aru Islands, D'Entrecasteaux Islands and Raja Ampat Islands. Most are distinguished by striking colors and bright plumage of yellow, blue, scarlet, and green. These colors distinguish them as some of the world's most dramatic and attractive birds. Males often sport vibrant feathered ruffs or amazingly elongated feathers, which are known as wires or streamers. Some species have enormous head plumes or other distinctive ornaments, such as breast shields or head fans. In the past, naturalists believed that the bird of paradise lived perennially in the air and fed on dew and the odours of flowers, never having any settled abiding place.
Birds-of-paradise are mostly found in eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and eastern Australia. Best known for the plumage of the males, particular for their highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings, tail or head, when first discovered by the Europeans in the early 16th century, they were briefly believed to be the mythical phoenix.
The common landscaping plant, the bird of paradise, has a shape and color reminiscent of this beautiful bird.
For some beautiful photography of different species of birds-of-paradise, click the portrait.