Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/581

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563
BIRDS-OF-PARADISE.

leader. The head, neck, upper part of the breast, the back, wings, and tail, are all of a deep red or maroon color, the head inclining to orange, and the breast to a darker red. The belly is white. Across the chest there is a band of beautiful green feathers, that, in some directions, appear black. From each side beneath the shoulder arises a tuft of broad, truncated, light-gray feathers, or plumes, two or three inches

Fig. 4.
PSM V05 D581 King bird of paradise.jpg
King Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurus regius).

long, tipped with bright metallic green. From the middle of the tail or upper-tail coverts proceed two shafts or filaments, appearing like wires, about one-sixteenth of an inch thick, naked for about six inches, then having a bright, golden-green web on the inner side of each shaft to the end, each of which is there coiled outward in a spiral curve, so as to form a beautiful flat disk; the shaft extending nearly twice round the curve. This peculiarity gives to the bird its generic name, cicinnurus, meaning a tail with curled feathers: its supposed leadership gave to it its specific name. Most parts of the bird have an exceedingly brilliant, satin-like gloss. The female is of a dull-brown color above; gray, streaked with black, beneath; tinged with red on the wings; and has a tail about three inches long.

The Gold-breasted Bird-of-Paradise (Parotia sexpennis, Vieillot) has three long, slender shafts, or feathers, proceeding from each side of the head near the ear; they being without web, except the part near the outer end. These can be raised or lowered at pleasure, so as to stand out horizontally on each side of the head, or left to hang loosely backward. It has also a small crest. From each side beneath the shoulders arise massive black plumes, with a loose web, like that of ostrich-feathers. The general color of the bird is a deep, velvety black; the head, throat, and back, having a violet gloss; the wings