The Red Bird of Paradise, Paradisaea rubra is a large, up to 33cm long, brown and yellow bird of paradise 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 72cm long, including the ornamental red plumes that require at least six years to fully attain. The female resembles the male but is smaller in size, with a dark brown face and has no ornamental red plumes. The diet consists mainly of fruits, berries and arthropods.
An Indonesian endemic, the Red Bird of Paradise is distributed to lowland rainforests of Waigeo and Batanta islands of West Papua. This species shares its home with another bird of paradise, the Wilson's Bird of Paradise. Hybridisation between these two species are expected but not recorded yet.
As with other sexually dimorphic birds of paradise, the male Red Bird of Paradise is polygamous. It also has one of the most complex courtship display of the whole family. On high intensity display, he performs butterfly dance which it spreads and vibrates his wings like a giant butterfly.
Due to ongoing habitat lost and exploitation, the Red Bird of Paradise is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
- The Red Bird of Paradise or Cendrawasih Merah is depicted on the front side of 1992 edition of Indonesia 20000 Rupiah banknote.