Not only the smallest he has also been described as the most colorful, which is probably why he has been described as a living gem.

Meet the King bird-of-paradise

The king bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus regius) is a passerine bird of the Paradisaeidae (Bird-of-paradise) family. Males are easy to recognize due to their bright red color and two long, ornamental wire-like tail feather shafts, as well as the circular swirl of feathers, colored bright green, on the ends. Their bellies are white, and there is a green stripe across the chest.

He also has a black spot above each eye.

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–An elegant bird covered head to tail in a shimmering suit of violet-blue topped off by a glittering turquoise crown!

By comparison, the female is far less bright, with her back, head, and throat being olive-brown and her chest a variegated buff.

Photo Courtesy of Doug Janson / CC BY-SA 3.0

These birds are endemic to, and quite common throughout Papua New Guinea and many of the country’s western satellite islands.

The King bird-of-paradise, like to live in lowland rainforests, gallery forests, along forest edges, as well as disturbed and tall secondary forests.

Being a frugivore, the King bird-of-paradise eats mainly fruits and arthropods.

King birds-of-paradise are polygynous, meaning that after mating males will go on to attract the next female. He will display by perching upright on a branch, vibrating his wings then hold his body parallel to the branch, spreading his pectoral feathers, and raising his tail over his head while dancing. He then swings his tail and then his body side to side and finally hangs upside down on the branch with his wings folded, swinging like a pendulum. The female will then build an open cup-shaped nest built into a tree cavity and then lay and incubate up to two eggs. Incubation takes up 17 days, after hatching she will feed and take care of the chicks on her own till they are fully fledged.

According to IUCN, the King bird-of-paradise is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. This species is currently classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today remain relatively stable.