Birds of paradise are one of David Attenborough’s lifelong passions. He was the first to film many of their beautiful and often bizarre displays, and over his lifetime he has tracked them all over the jungles of New Guinea. In this very personal film, he uncovers the remarkable story of how these ‘birds from paradise’ have captivated explorers, naturalists, artists, film-makers and even royalty. He explores the myths surrounding their discovery 500 years ago, the latest extraordinary behaviour captured on camera and reveals the scientific truth behind their beauty: the evolution of their spectacular appearance has in fact been driven by sex. (synopsis via Laughing Squid)
It’s been oft said, and no doubt for good reason, that you shouldn’t work with children or animals.
Add to that Birds of Paradise, which while beautiful, seem to have no concept of hitting their mark or of respecting one of the greatest naturalists and documentarians the world have ever known, Sir David Attenborough.
The great man appears utterly unfazed throughout, not simply because he is an immense fan of these beautiful birds, but because in all his years of explaining the wonders of nature to an eager public, he has no doubt come across this kind of hilariously disrespectful behaviour from animals and birds before.
We can only hope that advanced in age though he is, that he will have a good number of years yet to come across more examples of nature doing what it does best – being messily, gloriously, beautifully itself.