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Birds of Paradise
February 5, 2013 8:01 PM   Subscribe

The Birds of Paradise Project "It took 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, but Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photographer Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever. This video gives a sense of their monumental undertaking and the spectacular footage that resulted.". See, for example, the Ballerina Bird's novel shape shifting view.
posted by dhruva (12 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
I remember the preview video, which was posted this past fall, but the whole website has a lot more substance to it now -- lets you pick video clips by species, sound, color, etc. and has more info on how they got all the footage. Very cool!
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:08 PM on February 5, 2013


Fantastic. Darwin would shit his pants. In fact, I might could use a change myself.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:58 PM on February 5, 2013


*Wallace
posted by Buckt at 9:19 PM on February 5, 2013


That's not a standard wing.
posted by panaceanot at 9:39 PM on February 5, 2013


Is this a whole thing yet? because previously it was just a preview... I sure would like it to be a whole thing, though.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:57 PM on February 5, 2013


Go look at the website. It lets you pick clips from all different birds and other good stuff.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:00 PM on February 5, 2013


Or alternatively, is this ever going to be a whole thing? or just picky-choosy fantastically high resolution clips?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 10:03 PM on February 5, 2013


Looks like so far there are:

-National Geographic TV special which can also be bought on DVD

-An exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC which will be open thru mid-May 2013.

-Birds of Paradise coffeetable photo book

-Traveling lecture tour by Ed Scholes and Tim Laman, the two guys who took all the photos.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:30 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have the book. It is as awesome as I hoped it would be. I cannot express how badly I would like to see ANY of these birds, much less all of them. Hopefully I make it to that side of the world sooner rather than later.
posted by primalux at 10:46 PM on February 5, 2013


Ever since I first heard this odd little country music ditty as a kid, I've never been able to see or hear the words "bird of paradise" without thinking of May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:34 PM on February 5, 2013


Does it seem to anyone else like these researchers seem a bit dim about perspective and geometry? I mean, as soon as I saw the male encircle himself completely with his near-perfect(looking) circular wing display, I thought, "Wow, that puts his head in the middle of a huge black circle from her POV."

But these guys are talking as though it is only through the miracle of remote cameras that this mystery has finally been solved: What does a circle look like from above?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:49 PM on February 6, 2013


I used to live next to the Botanical Gardens in Port Moresby (now the Port Moresby Nature Park). In the aviaries there were a lot of different birds of paradise because the park director was a self described soft-touch, and kids would bring him birds and say if he didn't buy them they would just kill them and eat them. So he bought quite a few birds from various parts of PNG. And yes, they are as spectacular in real life as you imagine.
posted by Megami at 2:01 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


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