Superb Bird of Paradise
The Birds of New Guinea
and the adjacent Papuan Islands
Vol.1 - Plate No. 18
Length: 24 cm
The Superb Bird of Paradise is a bird of paradise found in New Guinea. The males have peculiar decorative feathers on their chests, backs and the back of their heads. Like other birds of paradise, they spread these feathers during courtship display, making their shape seem strange. Of the two birds depicted in the background of this plate, the brown bird with stripes on its belly is the female, its colours much more subdued than its male counterpart. When the male's courtship reaches its climax, it spreads the decorative feathers of its shoulders all the way towards its belly, making it look like a black disc with eyes when viewed from the front.