Birds-of-Paradise Project Introduction

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The Birds-of-Paradise Project reveals the astounding beauty of 39 of the most exquisitely specialized animals on earth. After 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, Cornell Lab 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. This trailer gives a sense of their monumental undertaking and the spectacular footage that resulted. Filmed by Tim Laman, Ed Scholes, and Eric Liner.

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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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Discover how the male Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise uses his strange wire-tipped feathers and a bare, vertical branch to court a female. Filmed by Tim Laman near Jayapura in western New Guinea in June 2010.

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Watch as a male Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise clears his display court of leaves and other forest debris so his amazing colors will be the center of attention if and when a female arrives. Filmed by Tim Laman on Waigeo island, in September of 2010.

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See what it took for National Geographic photographer Tim Laman, to capture the shot of a lifetime.

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