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Spring 2013
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Birds-of-Paradise

The Birds-of-Paradise Project

The Birds-of-Paradise Project reveals the astounding beauty of 39 of the most exquisitely specialized animals on Earth. After eight years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia and nearby islands, Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photojournalist Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever.

 

By the Numbers
By the Numbers

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look of their monumental undertaking, as well as some of the spectacular footage that resulted. Filmed by Tim Laman, Ed Scholes, and Eric Liner.

 

Now You See It...
Now You See It...

The Ribbon-tailed Astrapia presents an outstanding example of how iridescence can transform the look of a bird almost instantly. Filmed and photographed by Tim Laman.

 

Mesmerizing Magnificance
Mesmerizing Magnificance

Watch as a male Magnificent Riflebird shape-shifts into a black ovoid and mesmerizes a female by whipping his iridescent blue neck back and forth. Filmed by Tim Laman in August of 2009 in the Bird's Head Peninsula of western New Guinea.

 

Waggling Wonder
Waggling Wonder

Take a front row seat in the Arfak Mountains as the Western Parotia performs for a female perched above him. He begins his display with a bow, then transitions into a "ballerina dance," which is full of delicate steps and head waggles. Filmed by Tim Laman in August of 2009.

 

Main Attraction
Main Attraction

Enter the rainforest canopy of the Aru Islands to watch the coordinated displays of two male Greater Birds-of-Paradise. Then see two females take particular interest in the males' bright colors, strange sounds, and contorted poses. Filmed by Tim Laman in September 2010.

 

 


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