During courtship, the blue bird of paradise also rhythmically enlarges and contracts the centre of his black and red chest, spreading his plumes out in a fan whilst swaying back and forth
King of all he surveys
The male King of Saxony bird of paradise (Pteridophora alberti) guards his territory from an elevated perch. To display his prowess, he jumps up and down on the spot, showing off two magnificent quills notched with blue enamel-like plates. As he jumps and calls out, the quivering plumes attract the females.
The aptly named magnificent bird of paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus) is more often heard than seen. The males have a broad repertoire of song and use five different types of calls to communicate with each other. One, which has a "ksss-ksss-ks-ks-ksss" sound, is reserved specifically for courtship displays.
Proud to be bald
The bare-skinned head of the male Wilson's bird of paradise (Cicinnurus respublica) is bright turquoise with a fine black pattern on it and an iridescent sheen. The brightness of his head and curled tail feathers allow the females to distinguish the mature birds from the younger ones.
The male ribbon-tailed astrapia (Asprapia mayeri) has the longest tail feathers in relation to body size of any bird – over three times the length of its body.
Looking a million dollars
The vibrant red plumage of the male king bird of paradise (Cicinnurus regius) make a dramatic contrast with the restrained tones of the female. The green disc at the end of each tail feather has earned it the nickname of the dollar bird. The males certainly put their bright colours and ornamental feathers to good use: their elaborate dances, poses, song and other rituals can last for hours. And, as many males are polygamous, such displays can end up taking a significant amount of their lives.