Wild Birds

Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise

The Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise, Seleucidis melanoleucus or Seleucidis melanoleuca, is widely distributed throughout New Guinea and Salawati Island of Irian Jaya.

The sole representative of the monotypic genus Seleucidis, the Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise is a bird of lowland forests.

Article:  Breeding the Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise in Weltvogelpark Walsrode by Dipl.-Biol. Anne Hoppmann


This is a medium-sized, approximately 33cm long, velvet black and yellow bird of paradise.

The male has a red iris, long black bill, and rich yellow plumes along its flanks. From the rear of these plumes emerge twelve blackish, wire-like filaments, which bend back near their bases to sweep forward over the bird’s hindquarters. The male displays on an exposed vertical perch with its breast-shield flared.

The female is a brown bird with black-barred buffy underparts. Its feet are strong, large-clawed, and pink in color.

Diet / Feeding

Its diet consists mainly of fruits and arthropods.


The Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed in Appendix II of CITES. However, it has not been easy to breed this bird in captivity. It has only been successfully bred in Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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