Sunday, May 8, 2011

Surreal seductions: Birds of paradise strut their stuff

Surreal seductions: Birds of paradise strut their stuff

Male birds of paradise have developed extraordinarily elaborate ways of attracting females. Photographs and specimens on display at a new exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney show the range of these birds' distinctive plumage, and the lengths males will go to impress a potential mate.

World turned upside down

The male blue bird of paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi) puts on an impressive show to attract the attention of females. Hanging upside down from a branch, he displays his colourful plumage while vocalising softly in a low but harsh vibrating voice. His tail feathers form a pair of impressive arches either side of him.

Pulsating colour 
During courtship, the blue bird of paradise also rhythmically enlarges and contracts the centre of his black and red chest, spreading his plumes out in a fan whilst swaying back and forth

King of all he surveys 
The male King of Saxony bird of paradise (Pteridophora alberti) guards his territory from an elevated perch. To display his prowess, he jumps up and down on the spot, showing off two magnificent quills notched with blue enamel-like plates. As he jumps and calls out, the quivering plumes attract the females.

Magnificent singer 
The aptly named magnificent bird of paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus) is more often heard than seen. The males have a broad repertoire of song and use five different types of calls to communicate with each other. One, which has a "ksss-ksss-ks-ks-ksss" sound, is reserved specifically for courtship displays. 

Proud to be bald 
The bare-skinned head of the male Wilson's bird of paradise (Cicinnurus respublica) is bright turquoise with a fine black pattern on it and an iridescent sheen. The brightness of his head and curled tail feathers allow the females to distinguish the mature birds from the younger ones. 

Telling tails 
The male ribbon-tailed astrapia (Asprapia mayeri) has the longest tail feathers in relation to body size of any bird – over three times the length of its body. 

Looking a million dollars 
The vibrant red plumage of the male king bird of paradise (Cicinnurus regius) make a dramatic contrast with the restrained tones of the female. The green disc at the end of each tail feather has earned it the nickname of the dollar bird. The males certainly put their bright colours and ornamental feathers to good use: their elaborate dances, poses, song and other rituals can last for hours. And, as many males are polygamous, such displays can end up taking a significant amount of their lives. 

Best  Regards,
jAiFBloG™-A BiNdAs Collection!!

No comments:

Post a Comment