Definition of bird of paradise in US English:

bird of paradise


  • 1A tropical Australasian bird, the male of which is noted for the beauty and brilliance of its plumage and its spectacular courtship display. Most kinds are found in New Guinea, where their feathers are used in ornamental dress.

    Family Paradisaeidae: numerous genera

    • ‘In her own claims to be above the desires which drive her admirer, Nisa provides the image of the bird of paradise which was believed never to need to land or feed.’
    • ‘A 1990 report, for example, said Archbold's bowerbirds decorate with plumes from a bird of paradise species that molts only two of the big feathers a year.’
    • ‘Customs officials opened his suitcase and a bird of paradise flew out but that was nothing compared to what they found in his pants - a pair of pygmy monkeys.’
    • ‘The upper triangle is red with a yellow bird of paradise; the lower triangle is black with five white stars representing the Southern Cross.’
    • ‘You can get your fill of toucans, hornbills, crowned pigeons, green pigeons (which are beautifully coloured), birds of paradise, parrots et al, but really it is not so different from any modern conventional zoo.’
    • ‘Held at each corner by representatives from the armed forces, Papua New Guinea's vibrant bird of paradise flag was raised as Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, addressed the nation.’
    • ‘Its core was a presentation of valuables - pearl shells, bird of paradise plumage, and pigs - from the man's family to the family of the intended bride.’
    • ‘The cameras shed light on the floor of the deepest darkest jungle to reveal the courtship dance of a bird of paradise, and enable viewers to follow animals hunting and roaming for miles, where cameras could never hope to follow them before.’
    • ‘Tour by car to enjoy the island scenery; Visit the Japanese cave which was the Japanese Army base during WWII; Explore the virgin rainforest to observe unique fauna especially the mystical bird of paradise; Shop in the city of Biak.’
    • ‘A bird of paradise streaked overhead, its vivid red plumage zipping past in a blur.’
    • ‘Protobirds such as Confuciusornis had the same kind of feathers as modern birds; some specimens even display long tail feathers reminiscent of tropic birds and birds of paradise.’
    • ‘In reality, where males have decorative features, such as the birds of paradise and the peafowl, it is clear that every aesthetic feature contains a very high degree of aesthetic merit.’
    • ‘They come in dull little books, not illustrated folios; the evidence for them is more likely to be found in clay than gemstone, in finches not birds of paradise.’
    • ‘Several birds of paradise flew across from tree to tree, watched on by colourful howler monkeys and marmosets.’
    • ‘He made almost all the birds of paradise, monkeys, horses, and the felines.’
    • ‘He has several tattoos including a bird of paradise and the word ‘Steve’ on his left arm and the words ‘Dagger, born to lose’ on his right arm.’
    • ‘Many photographs are spectacular, not only those of birds of paradise (where both major photographers excel), but also those of shy and retiring species that are difficult to see, much less photograph.’
    • ‘He has done fieldwork in South America and central Africa and conducted long-term studies of birds of paradise in New Guinea.’
    • ‘You watch that housewife hit the bird of paradise on the first try!’
    • ‘These are not the compendia of an acknowledged expert's life work, such as Short on woodpeckers or, more recently in the Oxford Press series, the wonderful syntheses by Kemp on hornbills, or Frith and Beehler on birds of paradise.’
  • 2A southern African plant related to the banana. It bears a showy irregular flower with a long projecting tongue.

    Genus Strelitzia, family Strelitziaceae: several species, in particular S. regina, whose orange and dark blue flowers are pollinated by a sunbird

    • ‘Without regard to the season, flowers bloom year long, with excellent varieties of roses, bird of paradise, geraniums, azaleas, camellias, and gardenias.’
    • ‘Yellows and blues predominate in the Schleins' garden, but other plants splash color around the perimeter - purple asters, orange bird of paradise, ruby-red leptospermum, and red kangaroo paws and penstemons.’
    • ‘On Valentine's Day I ordered myself a huge bouquet of flowers - a voluptuous arrangement with stargazer lilies, calypso orchids and birds of paradise - the kind of flowers you send to someone you're trying to impress.’
    • ‘In spring, you will never stop marvelling at the profusion of flowers, not just the characteristic birds of paradise, but protea, which must have come on ships from the Cape, agapanthus and great splashes of busy lizzie.’
    • ‘However, the trip was also memorable for a magnificent discovery: the bird of paradise flower, named Strelitzia regina after Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, wife of King George III of Britain.’
    • ‘Shrubs like dodonaea and yellow bird of paradise, trees such as mesquite and palo verde, succulents and cactus, of course, and even wildflowers - all are thriving in an increasing number of desert gardens.’
    • ‘Saillen said he is struck by the beauty of strong, vibrant flowers, like amaryllis, banana flowers and birds of paradise.’
    • ‘I went downstairs and walked out into a courtyard filled with birds of paradise, flaming lilies, and an orange tree in full, sweet bloom.’
    • ‘I have a beautiful 8-foot bird of paradise that I planted a few years ago on the south side of the house.’
    • ‘In the backyard, bird of paradise plants flank a fountain that's reminiscent of those found in mission courtyards.’
    • ‘Flower varieties like gerbera, birds of paradise, liliums, anthuriums have a good market in home and overseas.’
    • ‘In the conservatory, you'll find the largest collection of house plants in Ireland: bird of paradise, orchids, jasmine, lemon trees and orange trees whose blossoms scent the air.’
    • ‘Add exotic flowers of Jamaica: birds of paradise, ginger, heliconia (it looks like fish hanging from a rod), heart-shaped anthurium and azaleas.’
    • ‘Plants with strong forms predominate, notably agaves and cycads, which complement the existing bird of paradise and queen palm.’
    • ‘The quality conscious customers prefer gerdera, heliconia, bird of paradise, orchids and anthoriums.’
    • ‘Display flowering orchids or exotic cut flowers like bird of paradise or heliconia.’
    • ‘If that weren't enough, the new owners have slapped a fresh coat of paint on the walls and put flowers all over the place - lilies, for crying out loud, gladioli, birds of paradise.’


bird of paradise

/bərd əv/