King of saxony bird-of-paradise (Pteridophora alberti)
The King of Saxony is a bird in the bird-of-paradise family (Paradisaeidae). It is endemic to montane forest in New Guinea. The bird is sometimes referred to as “Kiss-a-ba” by the natives of Papua New Guinea and Western New Guinea, as a human interpretation of the male’s loud call. Adult males are territorial. The male guards its territory from perches placed in the tops of tall trees, and from these perches sings to compete with males in neighbouring territories. While singing, the male moves his occipital plumes about.
There are more than three dozen species in the family Paradisaeidae, more commonly known as the birds of paradise. 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.
Males put their bright colors and unusual ornaments to good use when they display for females. Their elaborate dances, poses, and other rituals accentuate their appearance and put on a phenomenal show for both female birds and any humans lucky enough to be in the vicinity. Such displays can last for hours, and in many species they consume a significant part of the male’s time.