Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor)


French: Paradisier petit-émeraude German: Kleinparadiesvogel Spanish: Ave del paraíso esmeralda chica

Paradisea minor


, 1809,

Dorey, Vogelkop, New Guinea


Hybridization recorded with P. raggiana and P. guilielmi, and also, intergenerically, with Lophorina magnifica, Cicinnurus magnificus and Seleucidis melanoleucus. Race finschi sometimes included in nominate#R. Proposed race pulchra (Misool, in West Papuan Is) synonymized with nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. minor Shaw, 1809 – West Papuan Is (Misool) and W New Guinea E in N watershed to West Papua–Papua New Guinea border and, in S watershed, to Etna Bay.
  • P. m. jobiensis Rothschild, 1897 – Yapen I, in Geelvink Bay (NW New Guinea).
  • P. m. finschi A. B. Meyer, 1885 – N New Guinea from just E of border E to Gogol, upper Ramu R and N Huon Peninsula#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    32 cm (excluding tail wires); male 183–300 g, female 141–210 g. Male nominate race has lores, forehead, ear-coverts, malar area, chin and throat finely feathered... read more


    Advertisement song of lekking males is a series of high-pitched clear sharp "wak" notes (... read more


    Lowland and hill forest, swamp-forest, forest edge and second growth; adaptable to human-altered... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fruits, also arthropods. Forages mainly in canopy; also lower when seeking arthropods. May join mixed-species foraging flocks with... read more


    Season at least Jul–Feb; males with enlarged gonads in most months, but more so Feb–Aug, and females with enlarged oocytes in... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common and widespread. Very common in S Adelbert Mts in Mar–Apr 1959, and moderately common in forests from base to c. 1070 m on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Lesser Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).