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The amazing diversity of birds-of-paradise

This image from our 2016 Papua New Guinea tour by participant Steve Rannels shows a male Raggiana Bird-of-paradise, one of seven species of spectacular birds in the genus Paradisaea, all sporting dense and brightly colored flank plumes used in their elaborate arboreal displays. The diversity of physical appearance in the rest of the 30+ species in this avian family is quite amazing. Although many of these other species also have complex and colorful plumage ornamentation, quite a few don't. And if you placed them all in a line-up, you'd have a hard time believing that, one genus to the next, they were closely related at all. Such is the spectacular radiation of form and plumage that has occurred in these birds, the observation of which is the highlight of any trip to New Guinea, the world's second-largest island after Greenland.

Our upcoming Papua New Guinea tour, which runs Jul 6-23, 2017, with Jay VanderGaast and Doug Gochfeld as guides, has one space available if you would like to see the birds-of-paradise for yourself this year. You can read all about the trip on our tour page by clicking the link above.

Don't forget also to view our 2016 illustrated triplist for numerous other images and a great taste of the tour.

 Other Bird Buzz Topics

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Did you know there's a bird named Zigzag?

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