King of Saxony Bird-of-Paradise sings his song up in Tari Gap

WimpelträgerThe male King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise (Pteridophora alberti) performs his courtship song from a high point of view, from the bushy crown of a giant tree. It is actually the perfect habitat for a King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise. The King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise impresses with two long feathers on the head, which he can be moved to courtship with big muscles. They are reminiscent of pennants with their eye-catching structure and are clearly visible from a distance. Mowing forward his two extra-long head feathers he smashes his monotonous song, like a Common Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella naevia) high in the rainforest. At first we can only see the bird between leaves on the edge of a row of trees. Then the male King-of-Saxony even lets himself down to fly on a bare tree and from there extensively to shake with his two long feathers on the head. Back and forth, back and forth, he moves his two long feathers.

From Ambua Lodge we started in the afternoon by bus to higher elevations, above the clouds. This is the region known as Tari Gap in literature. From the road we wanted to observe the King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise. We were not out of the gate yet, when the rain started. Our guide decides to drive to even higher elevations to escape the rain. Soon we had achieved our today’s climax.

Later, our local guide continues along the road along the rainforest, where we can see the English Ribbon-tailed Astrapia (Astrapia mayeri) with its bright white tail feathers. All of this seems like being in a theater, in an evergreen, mossy backdrop, and as background music we still hear the song of the King of Saxony’s Bird of Paradise.

The Ribbon-tailed Astrapia is one of the paradise birds that wear extra-long tail feathers. Like two white ribbons, the tail feathers of full-grown male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia reach up to one meter in length.

Birds-of-paradise inhabit tropical or subtropical rainforests, or at least habitats with similar dense vegetation within New Guinea. The diversity of Bird of Paradise birds also comes from New Guinea, a unique tropical island that was once unfolded by the Northward movement of the Australian continent. New Guinea is the main distribution of this family with a total of 43 species. More pictures of Birds-of-paradise can be seen in the gallery of photographed species of birds of paradise during a birding trip in 2010.

New Guinea grow lush tropical forests, both in the lowlands and in the mountain range, which traverses the island across. They provide plenty of food for the birds, such as fruits, nuts or insects, and few mammals compete with them. Larger predatory mammals do not occur on the island at all. This is probably one of the reasons why the birds of paradise were able to develop a plumage of lavish beauty and lavishly staged courtship rituals. The landscapes and so are the habitats of New Guinea are highly fragmented. Rugged rock formations and other barriers subdivide the occurrence of wild animals, which thereby often split into new species.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species not only of the Western Palearctic, Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western Palearctic. Trips to remote places to capture images were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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