Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise, also known as Cicinnurus respublica from western Papua New Guinea. This image shows it's single tightly folded tail feather. The most curious feature of this species is the elaborate display the male birds employ to attract a mate. During mating season, the male birds first make a clearing on the forest floor, removing all twigs and detritus. Once a female suitor arrives, the male performs a dazzling dance.
Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise, also known as Cicinnurus respublica from western Papua New Guinea. This image shows it's single tightly folded tail feather. The most curious feature of this species is the elaborate display the male birds employ to attract a mate. During mating season, the male birds first make a clearing on the forest floor, removing all twigs and detritus. Once a female suitor arrives, the male performs a dazzling dance.Robert Clark/Chronicle Books
Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise, also known as Cicinnurus respublica from western Papua New Guinea. This image shows it's single tightly folded tail feather. The most curious feature of this species is the elaborate display the male birds employ to attract a mate. During mating season, the male birds first make a clearing on the forest floor, removing all twigs and detritus. Once a female suitor arrives, the male performs a dazzling dance.
The King Bird-of-Paradise, also known as Cicinnurus regius from Papua New Guinea. A bright red bird with oddly shaped wings. The pair of tail wires shown in this photograph serves non-mechanical purposes; like other Birds-of-paradise, the King uses its bizarre feathers in a complex mating ritual.
The Flamingo, also known as Phoenicopterus roseus from Africa, Southern Europe, and Parts of Asia. The Greater Flamingo’s signature pink coloring is the result of its diet: Flamingos consume massive amounts of animal and plant plankton very rich in beta carotene. A rich pink coat indicates the bird has a healthy diet, making it more attractive to potential mates.
The Fork-Tailed Woodnymph, also known as Thalurania furcata from the jungles of South America. The term furcata in the Fork-tailed Woodnymph’s taxonomic name refers to the bird’s split tail, which has been known to be mistaken for little legs. The tail feather pictured here is two inches long, though the bird itself weighs only a few grams.
The Blue Budgerigar, also known as Melopsittacus undulatus from Australia. The Blue Budgerigar’s remarkable color is the result of selective breeding. The common Australian variant of Budgerigar has a yellow crest with a green chest and flank. But successive breeding has taken the bird to other color extremes, including the white and blue variant seen here.
The Victoria Crown Pigeon, also known as Guora victoria from New Guinea. A member of a small genus of ground-dwelling pigeons from the Columbidae family, Victoria Crown Pigeons are known for their loud hooting call, sometimes accompanied by a clapping sound as their oddly shaped wings bat the air. Weighing in at more than seven pounds, they are considered the largest members of the Pigeon family.
The Scarlet Macaw, also known as Ara macao from South America. The coloration of this Macaw allows it to live in and blend into diverse habitats. While the bird has been subject to habitat loss, so far the species has proved to be widespread and adaptable enough to avoid major threats to population levels. The plumage of this Parrot ranges from rich reds to deep blues. Here is shown a secondary wing covert feather. Covert feathers cover other feathers, and allow air to flow over the bird’s wings and tail. Scarlet Macaws’ strong wide wings allow them to reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
The Superb Starling, also known as Lamprotornis superbus from Eastern Africa. The Superb Starling’s wing feathers are a bright, eye-catching green indicative of a structural coloration; color is produced by microscopically structured surfaces that interfere with and scatter visible light. These iridescent birds live in large flocks where females breed with multiple males for larger genetic diversity, while the males pair with a single female for life.
The Gray Junglefowl, also known as Gallus sonneratii from Peninsular India. If it weren’t for its remarkable gold and black crest, the Gray Junglefowl would look very much like a common farm Chicken. Its colorful crest is made up of a collection of paper-thin feathers laid on top of one another.
Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise, also known as Cicinnurus respublica from western Papua New Guinea. This image shows it's sin
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Robert Clark/Chronicle Books
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Exquisite Photographs of Bird Feathers from Around the World

Apr 07, 2016

Photographer Robert Clark's fascination with birds and their feathers began as a child. Living in Western Kansas, he spent his days collecting the feathers of Meadowlarks, Crows and Quails. His interest, appreciation and dedication only grew when he was exposed to hundreds of different species as he began working for National Geographic.

Now, Clark's deep knowledge of the unique evolution of plumage is laid out in Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage, published by Chronicle. The new book features remarkable color saturated photographs of bird feathers from around the world.

At first glance, the book appears to index an array of unusually stunning feathers and wings. However, through his photographs, Clark explores the incredible evolution and utility of plumage, through form and beauty. "As the saying goes, 'form follows function,' but when it comes to feathers if form follows function, then beauty follows form," he says.

Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage, published by Chronicle Books goes on-sale April 12th.

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