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The first Europeans to encounter their skins were the voyagers in Ferdinand Magellan's circumnavigation of the Earth. Antonio Pigafetta wrote that "The people told us that those birds came from the terrestrial paradise, and they call them bolon diuata, that is to say, 'birds of God"."


bird of paradise (plural birds of paradise)

  1. Any of various passerine birds of the family Paradisaeidae native to Oceania. In many of the species the breeding plumage of the males is brightly coloured.
  2. A showy tropical flower of the genus Strelitzia, native to Madagascar.