Definition of bird of paradise in US English:

bird of paradise

noun

  • 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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A bird of paradise streaked overhead, its vivid red plumage zipping past in a blur.’
    • ‘You watch that housewife hit the bird of paradise on the first try!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The upper triangle is red with a yellow bird of paradise; the lower triangle is black with five white stars representing the Southern Cross.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He has done fieldwork in South America and central Africa and conducted long-term studies of birds of paradise in New Guinea.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flower varieties like gerbera, birds of paradise, liliums, anthuriums have a good market in home and overseas.’
    • ‘Saillen said he is struck by the beauty of strong, vibrant flowers, like amaryllis, banana flowers and birds of paradise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without regard to the season, flowers bloom year long, with excellent varieties of roses, bird of paradise, geraniums, azaleas, camellias, and gardenias.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I went downstairs and walked out into a courtyard filled with birds of paradise, flaming lilies, and an orange tree in full, sweet bloom.’
    • ‘In the backyard, bird of paradise plants flank a fountain that's reminiscent of those found in mission courtyards.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have a beautiful 8-foot bird of paradise that I planted a few years ago on the south side of the house.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Display flowering orchids or exotic cut flowers like bird of paradise or heliconia.’
    • ‘The quality conscious customers prefer gerdera, heliconia, bird of paradise, orchids and anthoriums.’
    • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

bird of paradise

/bərd əv/