A male Lawe's Parotia.
Scientific name: Parotia lawesii
The Lawes’s parotia is one of many bird-of-paradise species in Papua New Guinea. Their forest homes are increasingly threatened by logging and the replacement of forest trees withcrops used to make palm oil.
Lawes’s parotia, bird of paradise
Fanning its feathers into a ‘tutu’, the male Lawes’s parotia performs a ‘ballerina dance’ to impress potential mates. Females watch from a branch above. When observing a similar species from the female’s viewpoint, scientists found that the silvery feathers on the back of the male’s head give a bright, mirror-like reflection, emphasising his head movements.
Amazing ability: Flashy dance moves
Where to find them: Twirling around in the forests of central Papua New Guinea