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Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise are an exotic family of feathered friends found only in Papua New Guinea, but this summer, some of them have landed in the trees on Charlottesville’s downtown mall.  

Male Birds of Paradise are perhaps the prettiest creatures of their kind – with crazy, colorful plumage, precision dance moves and a piercing song that appeals to the less colorful females.

“The males are all competing for mating time with the females, and so they have incredible plumage, incredible colors, and these Birds of Paradise are nature’s best example of what they call sexual selection," says Andrew Owen,  Manager of Look 3 -- The Festival of the Photograph.  

Owen oversaw the hanging of 40 giant pictures of birds of paradise on Charlottesville’s downtown mall – photographs taken over a period of eight years as part of a project sponsored by Cornell University and the Nature Conservancy.

The Birds of Paradise Show runs through early July. 

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief