What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

(Birds of) Paradise by the Dashboard Light:


Superb Bird-of-Paradise Lophorina superba mating dance

Superb Bird-of-Paradise (Lophorina superba)

Male birds of paradise have it rough. Sure, they’re gorgeous to look at and spectacular dancers, but their potential mates, while not looking so hot themselves, are really, really choosy. The females seem permanently unimpressed, like models in a sports bar.

Superb Bird-of-Paradise Lophorina superba mating dance

Can you imagine how you’d react if someone worked that hard for your attention? Me neither, but I’m sure I would be more enthused than this.

I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, but still, it makes me feel bad for the poor guys. And would it kill the females to fix themselves up a little? Sheesh! Throw on some lipstick, make a bit of effort. Have some pride!

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from the 2007 feature-length documentary, “Earth,” narrated by my idol, Patrick Stewart. The segment does a great job illustrating this epic battle of the sexes. (NOTE: BBC took down the excerpt, but I left the reference, because it’s a magnificent documentary and I highly recommend it. Instead, here’s some other beautiful BBC bird of paradise footage!)

If, like me, you want more, you can learn all about these amazing creatures at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Cornell’s resources include the wonderful introductory video below which shows a glimpse of many of the 39 species of Bird of Paradise. It also gives some idea of the herculean effort the lab took in capturing these birds’ images and sounds. This is a very committed group of people!

There’s also a quite good BBC Birds of Paradise documentary on you YouTube if you have the time. Here’s a fascinating excerpt.

After I watched that, I found myself so fascinated by the birds, I couldn’t resist including pictures of a few of my favorites. They really are amazing.

Greater Bird-of-Paradise Paradisaea apoda

Greater Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea apoda)

Victoria's Rifelbird Ptiloris victoriae

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)

King Bird-of-Paradise Cicinnurus regius

King Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)

Stephanie's Astrapia Astrapia stephaniae

Stephanie’s Astrapia (Astrapia stephaniae)

Carola's Parotia Parotia carolae

Carola’s Parotia (Parotia carolae)

Western Parotia sefilata

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)

Black Sickelbill Epimachus fastosus

Black Sickelbill (Epimachus fastosus)

Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise Cicinnurus respublica

Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurus respublica)

Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia mayeri

Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia (Astrapia mayeri)

Goldie's Bird-of-Paradise Paradisaea decora

Goldie’s Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea decora)

Splendid Astrapia splendidissima

Splendid Astrapia (Astrapia splendidissima)

Blue Bird-of-Paradise Paradisaea rudolphi

Blue Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi)

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

14 thoughts on “(Birds of) Paradise by the Dashboard Light:

  1. I love these pics. It is amazing the numerous species on the planet and their rituals. Nature makes me see the world through the eyes of a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Animal documentaries are favorite viewing in my house and anything with Sir Patrick Stewart is a treat. Nature paints with an incomparable palette of colors. No wonder affluent Victorian ladies wore bonnets adorned with fanciful feathers. I am glad that killing birds for their plumage is now out of fashion.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What beautiful birds! I’ve visited the Cornell Ornithology site numerous times, it is an excellent resource.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Spectacular animals, too bad I hate birds. Don’t worry, though, I would never harm one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The clip from Earth is one of my favourite clips EVER! And, I love that Superb Bird…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Tiny Dancer | My OBT

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