Birds of Paradise (video)

Now there’s some very fine-feathered friends! And they certainly make me feel ever so underdressed on the rare occasion that I go out, what with my fashion sense having gone completely missing since forever and all. Trust me. This is fireworks. Full screen view warmly recommended.

“The Birds-of-Paradise Project reveals the astounding beauty of 39 of the most exquisitely specialized animals on earth. After 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photojournalist Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever. This trailer gives a sense of their monumental undertaking and the spectacular footage that resulted. Filmed by Tim Laman, Ed Scholes, and Eric Liner.”

Then of course, while on the subject of colourful, tropical birds there’s the manakin bird, of South and Central America, which has its own, well, style. Or Michael Jackson’s style if you prefer as it’s the only animal known to be able to moonwalk. It was first brought to my attention years ago by the BBC TV show QI (or rather, this Youtube video clip of the manakin bird brought QI to my attention, for which I am eternally grateful).

Here’s the original National Geographic footage of our yellow-trousered dance floor maestro. According to experts, this dance and attire are part of the male manakin’s plan to attract a female. I can see that I have been going about it entirely wrong, and it must be by dumb luck alone that I managed to capture my better half.

And while I’m at it, you may have noticed in the QI clip that Bill Bailey and Alan Davies broke into a brief rendition of “A Night to Remember” to accompany the bird’s dance moves. Apparently someone took that as inspiration and Youtubed a whole dance video. Kudos!

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