One of the most exciting things about what I do is having a chance to reveal aspects of animal behavior that haven’t been seen before. A couple years ago, my long time bird-of-paradise collaborator Ed Scholes of the Cornell Lab and I made another expedition to the Arfak Mountains in West Papua, with the aim of documenting the Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise display from the female perspective – in other words, from above looking down at the displaying male. We succeeded, and it’s been some time in coming out, but I’m thrilled to share that our footage now features in a brand new documentary on Netflix “LIFE IN COLOR with David Attenborough”. Please check it out. In the images and short video below, I share the “reveal” of what the female sees – a perspective that we think is a first for natural history filmmaking on this species.[Read more…] about Revealing the Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise Display
My passion for photographing birds-of-paradise first grew from a desire to document some amazing birds that few people have had a chance to see in the wild, and share them with the world in the pages of National Geographic. As I have made 30 expeditions to the region where they occur (Papua Indonesia, PNG, and N. Australia) over the past 15 years, I came to realize that they are the best ambassadors for conserving the rain forests of the New Guinea region, the third largest remaining block of rain forest in the world (after the Amazon and Congo).
The local people of Papua realize that protecting their forest for the birds, and hosting visiting birders and other tourists to see them, is a way for them to receive a livelihood from the forest. So my hope is that my photography and films of these birds can contribute to greater appreciation and thus conservation of Papua’s forest. But at the moment, international travel to Papua is on hold. The local guest house owners and birding guides that we work with there have no income.
I know you’d like to help, and so would I. So if you’d like to help and also own a Tim Laman print to brighten your home or workplace, please visit my online store at www.timlamanfineart.com. You will find prices and sizes for all budgets and spaces.
I hope you are all well, and staying safe wherever you are. I’m continuing to dig into my archive to share some favorites and some unpublished Bird-of-Paradise images. I’ve chosen the Blue Bird-of-Paradise to feature this week.
The Blue Bird-of-Paradise is one of the most legendary of the Birds-of-Paradise because of its phenomenal coloration and relative rarity. I journeyed to the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea to photograph this species, and it turned out to be one of the most challenging I have encountered. This was not because the bird was hard to find, but due to the fact that I wanted to photograph the male performing his courtship display. Displays, I found, were extremely unpredictable. It turned out that unlike some Birds-of-Paradise that are quite reliable once you find a display site (like the Western Parotia I shared in the last Wildlife Diaries), the Blue bird has not one, but many different display perches in the forest. It was almost impossible to be at the right one that he would choose to display at on a given day.
After many days of failure at display sites, I decided to concentrate on photographing at a feeding tree where we had seen the male visiting regularly. Indeed, he came to this tree several times a day, and by waiting him out, I captured a number of interesting feeding shots. This image is my favorite, because he was on a low branch with a clean background, posed at a beautiful angle across the frame, and the light was such that his blue plumage seems to glow from within.
I’m continuing my celebration of the Birds-of-Paradise this week since it doesn’t look like any of us are going to the field any time soon. I have chosen Wilson’s BoP as the next species to feature from my archive.
Print Giveaway: Like this past week, I’m going to have a drawing at the end of this week to give away a print, this time it will be the first Wilson’s BoP image featured below. If you have received this newsletter, then you are automatically entered. On Friday, we will randomly select one of my newsletter subscribers, and the winner will get an email as well as be announced on my Facebook page.
I hope you are all well, and staying safe wherever you are hunkering down during these unprecedented times. I’m at home and won’t likely be making my usual field trips any time soon, but I find myself thinking about the amazing Birds-of-Paradise that I enjoy photographing and sharing with you so much. They are still out there in the forests of New Guinea doing their thing, and while I can’t be creating fresh images right now, I have an archive with a wealth of imagery and associated stories that might help brighten your day just a little during these crazy times.
So for the coming weeks, I’m going to share a favorite Bird-of-Paradise image each week, and to make it more fun, I’m also going to have a drawing to give away a print of that image each week.
|Print Giveaway: If you have received this newsletter, then you are automatically signed up for my weekly Bird-of-Paradise print giveaway. Each Friday, we will randomly select one of my newsletter subscribers to receive a print of that weeks featured image, and announce the winner on my Facebook page.|