Superb Bird Paradise, 1898 illustration

Superb Bird Paradise, 1898 illustration

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Caption: 1894 plate showing the display of the Superb Bird of Paradise (Lophorina superba) by Richard Bowdler Sharpe from his "Wonders of the Bird World" 1898. Chromolithograph from Brockhaus' Konversations-lexikon. The male's feather cape (behind head) and breast shield (green) are erected during courtship displays, making the bird appear oval. These birds were well known from dead specimens in museums and the millinery trade, but artists had to guess behaviour, hence the more subdued display seen here. It would not be until the latter half of the next century that they were actually observed and described displaying in the wild.

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Keywords: 1800s, 19th century, artwork, bird, bird of paradise, bowdler, dance, display, feathers, gorget, lophorina superba, mating, new guinea, papua, rothschild, sharpe, skins, smiley, superb, trade

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