Meta description: Bird Of Paradise (Cenderawasih) Is One Of The Most Beautiful Birds In The World. People Are Willing To Travel To Papua Just To Experience Its Wonder.
Slug: Bird of Paradise-Cenderawasih-West Papua
People often call this bird from West Papua, “the bird of paradise.” There is a story behind this name given to Burung Cenderawasih, the Indonesian name for this bird. In the past, European Traders often bought this bird from native traders. The native traders cut the birds’ feathers and wings for decorations and sold them.
The European traders also brought this bird as a specimen in the early sixteenth century. The first Europeans to know this bird was the voyager Ferdinand Magellan when he did a circumnavigation of the earth. He was the one who told the others how the locals often called this bird the bird of paradise or bird of god.
The Reason Behind The Name “Bird Of Paradise“
There are many mystical beliefs attached to this bird. One of them is that this bird comes from terrestrial paradise. Therefore, the locals called them “bolon diuata” the synonym for “birds of god.” People think this bird never lands on the ground and always flies up in the sky. They think of this bird as the mythical phoenix.
The seeming absence of feet makes this bird seem footless, which causes people to believe this bird never touches the ground. And this becomes a reason where the name ‘apoda‘ (“without feet”) for the greater bird of paradise Paradisaea apoda came from. It is also believed that if this bird touches the ground, it is a sign soon it will die.
Cenderawasih is One of West Papua‘s Treasure
Indonesia has the richest biodiversity in the world, with Papua as home to many beautiful birds. Paradisaea, the scientific name for Cenderawasih, is one of the most beautiful birds in the world, which can only be found in West Papua, Eastern Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand.
There are 30 species of this bird in total, with Papua as home to 28 species of them. This causes Papua to have the largest number of Paradisaea’s species, which means Papua is the center of the birds of god diversity. The most well-known species are Manucodia comrii, Paradisaea rudolphi, Paradisaea minor.
For the sake of watching the beauty of this bird, many people from around the world travel here to have a live experience of this wonderful bird. They go to Raja Ampat to see Wilson’s Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). People also go to Susnguakti forest to see Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise (Lophorina niedda), and Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus).
West Papua also declares this bird as their symbol. Because this bird is endemic to Papua, Cenderawasih 12 wired becomes an amulet for the province. It became the region’s symbol for its amazing characteristics.
The Daily Life Of Paradisaea
This bird lives in tropical forests such as dense rainforests, swamps, moss forests with fruits and arthropods as their main food. However, different types or species of Paradisaea may have different types of food. For example, some species also eat small amounts of nectar and small vertebrates. Some species eat fruits more than others, while others may eat arthropods more.
Because they eat fruit on a daily basis, Paradisaea serves a role as a seed disperser in the forest. They will search for fruit and take a large amount of it. By using their feet, they are able to hold the food and manipulate which allows them to extract capsular fruit. However, they did not digest the seed when they ate the fruit, so they dispersed the seeds around the forest.
The types of food affect the bird’s behavior. If the birds mainly eat fruit, they tend to feed in the forest canopy or upper part of trees. And they tend to feed in the lower down of the trees if they eat insects. People mostly find this bird flying alone instead of being part of a group. Most of the species live as solitary tree-dwellers. Frugivores (the fruit eaters) are generally more social than the insectivores (the insect-eaters), which are more solitary and territorial.
Cenderawasih or known as “the birds of paradise” is one of the most beautiful birds you can find in West Papua. It is home to most of Paradisaea (Cenderawasih) species since 28 out of 30 species live in the region. People call this bird a bird of god because some people believe they come from a terrestrial paradise. Because of the beauty of its feathers, people are willing to travel to Papua just to experience seeing its wonder.
This bird is also the symbol of the local’s region because of its beautiful feathers, strong beak, and feet. In addition, this bird is able to fly for a long time and has a loud voice. If you are curious to see and watch this bird, you can come to Raja Ampat or Susnguakti forest.