Sunday, September 1, 2019

Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise: Coloration

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Biodiversity
Biological Evolution
Edward Hessler

The group of birds known as the Birds-of-Paradise in song, behavior, structure and color are one of the great gifts of life on planet Earth. They are birds of paradise, planet Earth.

In this short video, the most colorful of this group, the male Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise is shown and the striking coloration explained. The Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise shows two kinds of color: pigment and structural. The pigments are paintlike; the structural are a result of the interaction of light with the underlying structure of feathers and skin.

As the film opens the Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise is on the ground clearing his display court of leaves and other debris.

The Wiki entry on the Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise notes that the bird was first recorded on film in 1996 by none other than David Attenborough who seems to have been everywhere and recorded everything. To obtain the film, Attenborough played a trick on the bird. He dropped "leaves on the forest floor, which irritated the bird into clearing them away."

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