Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Ultimate Challenge: Finding the Birds of Paradise in Papua New Guinea and Australia

Natural selection is what drives our birds.  They must find the best mate possible in order to proliferate. It is the female that decides who is the best, the strongest, the fastest, and the most good-looking.  These are the attributes that will determine the best offspring possible, as well as the healthiest.  She wants a mate that will feed her and her offspring well.  He must be the best of the best, with top quality genetics.  This is the secret to the life of mating birds, a strong genetic presence.

Most of the Birds of Paradise are only located in Papua New Guinea.  The other few are in Australia, namely the Satin Bowerbird, who builds an extravagant love nest.

This is also an Australian Bird of Paradise, the Superb Lyrebird, but he is one up on the average bird.  He is a remarkable mimic that can make some very interesting sounds, including the human voice.

Meet Victoria's Riflebird of north Queensland, Australia.  These are young males, given instruction by an adult male.  They don't come out of the egg and know what they are doing with displays.  It takes several years to perfect this dance that will be attractive to females, and takes a lot of hard work.

The remarkable colors of these birds changes with the infiltration of light.  The birds also have uncharacteristic moves and are masters at shape shifting.  Additionally, they time their moves to a science and practice, indeed, makes perfect.

And here, we have all 39 Birds of Paradise.  These are truly the birds of wonder that are one of the best kept secrets of the natural world in all its glory.  It has taken many years for this video to be made, through a great deal of hard work through my current school, Cornell University.  I wish to personally thank the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who has awakened in me, this group of beautiful birds to study and appreciate.