Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bird Watching

So the day of the hike, we left at 0530 to go and see Birds of Paradise.  For those of you who don’t know, there are a number of different kinds of Birds of Paradise and PNG happens to be the home of a lot of them.  I have learned a little something about the Birds of Paradise from the McCoys and while on other hikes, and my little knowledge made me the expert of the group, even though I know very little. 

As we were walking into the trees where we were going to see the birds, I could hear different calls above us.  One I recognized as a Superb Bird of Paradise, which I have seen on hikes before and has some blue/greenish feathers in it.  I was never able to actually locate this bird as it was farther away, but I  helped others distinguish his call from the others we were hearing.  Most of the birds that we saw were of the Raggianna variety, with many males who were showing off and dancing for the females, a few of which were in the trees as well.  There were a number of birds to watch, at one time there were 8 in one tree.  Despite have stiff necks from looking up, we enjoyed seeing the birds up close. 

After seeing the birds, we hiked back out to our car.  By this time it was 800 so there were lots of villagers around to greet.  Some kids were playing with their tires and so I asked if I could try.  I managed to keep it up, but they are able to turn those things pretty sharply and keep going, not me, but it was fun to try.