Friday, November 19, 2010

Birding in Papua New Guinea: Ribbon-tailed Astrapia

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let's go back to Papua New Guinea for a post or two, shall we? In the afternoon of our first full day afield, the weather waffled between cool/cloudy and sunny/warming. We birded along the Highlands Highway as well as along some forest trails. While we saw quite a few new species, and more individuals of species we'd already added to the list, the most notable encounter was a foraging immature male ribbon-tailed astrapia—our third bird-of-paradise of the day.

Young male ribbon-tailed astrapia.

This young male foraged on the fruits of a tree alongside the road, at about eye level. Though the light was weak, I managed to get a few images with my digiscoping rig. Adult females show a dark brown body, and long dark tail feathers. Adult males have long white tail streamers and a glossy all-black body.

You can see in my video below that this bird is starting to show some white in the tail feathers.

After enjoying the astrapia show, we headed back to Ambua Wilderness Lodge, where the sun finally came out in earnest. We relaxed on the front lawn, enjoying the view and chatting about what we'd seen and what we were hoping to see in the days ahead.

Ambua Lodge view.

Our first full day of birding in Papua New Guinea was coming to an end. And what an incredible experience it had been.

Next PNG post: seeking the sooty owl.


On November 19, 2010 at 8:34 PM david said...

Very cool -- what a magnificent species. They were one of my favorites at Kumul Lodge four years ago. The males' tail streamers wind through the branches and epiphytes as the birds hop around feeding. Magical.

On November 22, 2010 at 9:05 PM THE OLD GEEZER said...

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On November 27, 2010 at 7:54 AM Julie Zickefoose said...

I enjoy the sound tracks on these videos. I like the comment, "That's a rather nice plush thing on the bill." How wonderful to see it move and eat. A bit frustrating have no idea what that fruiting tree might be, or even what family it might represent. Ah, New Guinea!