An elegant jewel of the Australian rainforest, the Paradise Riflebird is showy, vocal, and large. Ptiloris paradiseus is 11 inches long, and not a commonly found bird.
They reside in the rainforest on the eastern coast of Australia, we found this one in Queensland. We spotted it when we heard a loud rasping call, and then within seconds watched it do a mating display. With fanned wings that looked like a velvet pleated cape, he threw his head back and pranced, flashing his iridescent plumage. You can read more about it here.
Sometimes I find myself melting and perspiring, slapping at relentless mosquitoes, wandering around in a smelly, dark rainforest wondering why I am here. Other times, like this five minutes we had with the Paradise Riflebird, I know exactly why I went to the trouble. And then trudge on for more.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander