Monday, January 28, 2013

Birds of Paradise Book

Two men spent months undercover sitting up in trees to obtain pictures of Birds of Paradise.  Many of these birds have never been photographed before.  Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes  have produced a coffee table style book full of incredible images of Birds of Paradise.

Here's a cool trailer on the project with some action shots of Bird of Paradise.

Why are they called Birds of Paradise?

In the 16th century when Europeans first saw these unusual birds, they declared that they were so beautiful that they could only have come from Heaven's paradise.

Some Bird of Paradise Facts

 - lifespan: up to  30 years. 

-  diet:  mostly fruit, but also plants, spiders, insects, small reptiles

-  39 species

-  Order Passeriformes.  Group Paradisaeidae.  Closest relatives: crows and jays.

-  dimorphic- males and females are distinctly different.  Males ornate, females drab.

-  males are polygnist.  He spreads his seed to as many females as possible.

-  females have one brood per year, usually one chick.  Female does all the nest building and rearing.

-   symbiotic mutualism.  The birds eat the fruit of the trees then plant the fruit seeds when they poop.

-  live in mountainous forested areas in NE Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands.

Male Birds of Paradise devote their lives to displaying their virility to females.  Males often use the same tree stump or clearing as their display stage for many years. 

Variations seen in Birds of Paradise species are not only in their feathering.  Different beak styles are numerous, apparently adaptations to better extract meat from assorted fruits that represent the bulk of their diet. 

These birds live in areas full of food and with very few predators.  This frees up time for flexing ones feathers and singing songs of love.

Learn more about the book, Birds of Paradise:  revealing the world's most extraordinary birds by Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes.


  1. Wow. I believe they rival the peacocks themselves.

  2. My grandmother would've loved them. She loved all kinds of birds and fancied her backyard for them.

    Hugs and chocolate,