An Exploration of the World’s Most Spectacular Birds

Among the most beautiful creatures on Earth, the birds-of-paradise are also ambassadors for the conservation of their forest home, the intact forests of New Guinea.

Vogelkop Lophorina by Tim Laman
  • The Species

    Biologists have organized closely related species into 15 groups each called a genus (plural: genera). Explore how taxonomy helps make sense of biological diversity.

  • Adaptations for Attraction

    The unrivaled displays of male birds–of–paradise combine extreme feathers, dazzling colors, piercing sounds, and precise movements. These are all adaptations with a single function: to attract mates.

  • Evolution in Isolation

    The males owe their exotic plumes and dances to sexual selection – the subtle power of females choosing mates over millions of years.

  • birders observing birds-of -paradise in forest
    Tanah Papua: A Paradise for Birds

    Experience the beauty of the island of New Guinea and meet the people in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua who are determined to save its forests.

  • A Vogelkop Lophorina Bird-of-Paradise displays in the forest
    A New Bird-of-Paradise Species: Vogelkop Lophorina

    Vogelkop Lophorina, once the Superb Bird-of-Paradise, is recognized as a new species, thanks in part to its smooth dance moves.

  • Female Birds-of-Paradise Go for Complex Males

    Male birds-of-paradise are world famous for their showmanship—their extravagant plumage, their complex vocals, and their shape-shifting dance moves. Research published in the journal PLOS Biology suggests that everything in those theatrical breeding displays by the males is driven by one thing: the female.

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