Saturday, May 04, 2013

I've spent the past couple evenings immersed in the Birds-of-Paradise Project website, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Two scientists, Ed Scholes, an evolutionary biologist, and Tim Laman, a biologist/photographer, spent eight years finding, studying, and photographing all 39 species of birds-of-paradise in New Guinea, Australia, and the nearby islands.

The website has a series of videos that illustrate various aspects of the appearance, behavior, and evolution of these birds, as well as the field effort that this project required.  It was fascinating.

I am so glad that there are people in this wide world of ours that are going to these places and filming these things so I can watch and learn.  I will probably never get to see these birds in the wild (but never say never!), so to even see them on video is fantastic.

The videos don't show every species in-depth, but there are photos of each and incredible footage of many.  There's a lot of information on the site, but it's well worth the time it takes to explore everything.

I originally just pinned this website on Pinterest, but enjoyed it so much that I had to rave about it more!  Go!  Be amazed!

Note: All pictures in this post are snipped from the Birds-of-Paradise Project website, and are copyrighted and owned/licensed  by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  The images are posted here as an educational teaser to get people to go to the website for themselves!

Edited to add:  If you want to see more, there's a PBS Nature episode about birds of paradise, called Birds of the Gods.  The blue bird-of-paradise (shown above in the first picture of this post) has been my all-time favorite bird-of-paradise ever since I saw it on some other PBS program ages ago.  Birds of the Gods is also available to watch instantly on Netflix, if you have that service.

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