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Photo Gallery

Birds of Paradise [Images]

Slideshow

Tim Laman photographed all 39 species of the Birds of Paradise in the rainforest of New Guinea.Look at some of the photos he took.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Lower Pass, Mount Hagen. King of Saxony Bird of Paradise (Pteridophoraalberti). A feathered wonder of the world, the male King of Saxony Bird-of-Paradise sports two antenna-like plumes on his head, unlike any other feather known to exist. They appear so absurd and unnatural, in fact, that some early collectors assumed they were fabrications manufactured to command a high price in the plume trade at the turn of the last century.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Lake Habbema Snow Mountains Splendid Astrapia (Astrapiasplendidissima). The astonishingly iridescent blue-green feathers of this adult male gleam in the late afternoon light as he searches for ripe fruit along the top of a Schefflera tree.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Wailebet, Batanta. Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurusrespublica). The Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise stands as a paragon of the“endless forms” for which the birds-of-paradise are renowned.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Nimbokrang, Jayapura area. Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidismelanoleuca). Male birds-of-paradise are highly territorial. Males like this Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise signal their presence to females and rivals by their calls.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
D’Aguilar National Park, Australia. Paradise Riflebird (Ptilorisparadiseus). Young males may look like females in their early years, but their unusual behaviors often emerge before their plumes and reveal their true gender. Here, a subadult male practices the circular-wing pose used by adult males when courting a female.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Wailebet, Batanta. Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaearubra). As the sun rises, a male Red Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaearubra) perches at the top of a canopy.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Wokam, Aru Islands. Greater Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaeaapoda). A female scrutinizes one of two adult males that have positioned themselves in the head-down pose that characterizes a peak moment of their courtship display. Although males draw most of the attention among birds-of-paradise, it is actually the females who are calling the shots during the performances.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Oransbari, Bird’s Head Peninsula. King Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurusregius). Although this is just a practice display, if a female were present, she would be watching from off to the right on the same horizontal branch. From her vantage point, the two emerald-green circular disks at the end of the male’s tail would be facing her, swaying back and forth over his head.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Bog Camp, Foja Mountains. Bronze Parotia. With isolated mountains come isolated species, such as the Bronze Parotia. The true geographic home of this species was unknown to science until 2005. Of the five members of the genus Parotia, three species are found only at certain elevations in the small mountain ranges they call home.

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Tim Laman/National Geographic
Kiburu, Mendi area. Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaearaggiana). Here we see a solo performance, but this species typically displays to females within a communal treetop. If a female were present, she would be observingthe head-down posture of this male from above and behind, affording her the best view of the intensely colored portion of his flank plumes.
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