Birds of Paradise in Indonesia

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birdparadisebigThe islands of Indonesia are famous for bird watching tours. There are 372 recorded species and many of them are unlike birds anywhere else on earth. The islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Papua New Guinea are the most popular bird watching destinations and the birds of paradise are the stars of the show.

By Oliver Ellerton

The Indonesian word for this distinctive bird family is Cendrawasih. In Papua New Guinea, the birds are so thoroughly enshrined in the national identity that their images grace everything from the local currency to the taxi cabs, and their feathers are in high demand.

In fact, their feathers are in such high demand that hunting birds of paradise has been a national pastime in Indonesia for centuries. Many of the different species are currently listed as endangered and trapping and exporting them is illegal. There is still, however, a thriving black market for the birds.

While trading in the plumes of birds of paradise with early European explorers, local tribes told the Europeans that these birds were the birds of the gods and that they never touched the earth, feeding only on dew. This story enhanced the value of the birds, and the feathers were in such high demand that it almost killed off the species entirely.

The males are the most sought after for their brightly coloured feathers, while the females are comparatively drab. Each species has its own courtship ritual, resulting in some of the most spectacular performances in the animal kingdom.

Bird_of_Paradise_Wallpaper__yvt2

LOPHORINA SUPERBA

wilsons-bird-of-paradise

Bird-of-paradise

birds-of-paradise

BirdParadise

 

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The islands of Indonesia are famous for bird watching tours. There are 372 recorded species and many of them are unlike birds anywhere else on earth. The islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Papua New Guinea are the most popular bird watching destinations and the birds of paradise are the stars of the show.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

birdparadisebigThe islands of Indonesia are famous for bird watching tours. There are 372 recorded species and many of them are unlike birds anywhere else on earth. The islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Papua New Guinea are the most popular bird watching destinations and the birds of paradise are the stars of the show.

By Oliver Ellerton

The Indonesian word for this distinctive bird family is Cendrawasih. In Papua New Guinea, the birds are so thoroughly enshrined in the national identity that their images grace everything from the local currency to the taxi cabs, and their feathers are in high demand.

In fact, their feathers are in such high demand that hunting birds of paradise has been a national pastime in Indonesia for centuries. Many of the different species are currently listed as endangered and trapping and exporting them is illegal. There is still, however, a thriving black market for the birds.

While trading in the plumes of birds of paradise with early European explorers, local tribes told the Europeans that these birds were the birds of the gods and that they never touched the earth, feeding only on dew. This story enhanced the value of the birds, and the feathers were in such high demand that it almost killed off the species entirely.

The males are the most sought after for their brightly coloured feathers, while the females are comparatively drab. Each species has its own courtship ritual, resulting in some of the most spectacular performances in the animal kingdom.

Bird_of_Paradise_Wallpaper__yvt2

LOPHORINA SUPERBA

wilsons-bird-of-paradise

Bird-of-paradise

birds-of-paradise

BirdParadise

 

 

 

 

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