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List of hybrid birds-of-paradise

Hybrid birds of paradise may occur when individuals of different species, that look similar and have overlapping ranges, confuse each other for their own species and crossbreed.

Erwin Stresemann hypothesised that hybridisation among birds-of-paradise might explain why so many of the described species were so rare. Stresemann examinined many controversial specimens and, during the 1920s and 1930s, he published several papers on his hypothesis. Many of the species described in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are now generally considered to be hybrids, though some are still subject to dispute; their status is unlikely to be settled definitely without genetic examination of museum specimens.

Known or presumptive hybrids

Illustration of Duivenbode's riflebird, a presumed hybrid between the magnificent riflebird and lesser lophorina.

Some named hybrids and presumed hybrids are:[1]

Other possible hybrids

Barraband's mystery black-breasted twelve-wired bird-of-paradise.

18th century French artist Jacques Barraband, known for his ability to illustrate birds with a high degree of accuracy, produced a few illustrations of unidentified birds-of-paradise. It has been postulated that these paintings may be simply inaccurate, depict undescribed species, or depict hybrids that have not since been observed.[2]

On 15 May 2004, New Scientist published one of these paintings, which depicts a bird that most closely resembles the twelve-wired bird-of-paradise, although there are several obvious differences.[2]


  1. ^ Frith, Clifford B. & Beehler, Bruce M. (1998). The Birds of Paradise: Paradisaeidae. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854853-2.
  2. ^ a b Shuker, Karl (6 April 2011). "Seeking the Lost Birds of Paradise". Retrieved 7 May 2014.
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List of hybrid birds-of-paradise
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