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To say New South Wales has a wild side would be an understatement. The state positively teems with creatures great and small. From its coastal bays and national parks to its mountain ranges and rainforests, the region plays host to a veritable menagerie of furred, feathered and finned inhabitants. Wallabies graze, whales breach and lorikeets flash through the tree canopy. The great news for visitors is that much of this native wildlife can be seen first-hand — often at close quarters. The whale-watching season runs from May to November, a time when the gentle giants of the ocean migrate along the state coastline in large numbers to reach their annual breeding grounds.

James-Callum Eggleton

The trees have grown incredibly well in the tropical climate. If you live in or will be visiting the Daintree during that time please come along and join us. For exact locations of the plantings on each day please contact our Conservation Manager David Cook on or email david rainforestrescue. If you can’t make it to the Daintree remember you can always sponsor additional trees to make our forest grow.

More Info Rainforest Rescue will be continuing with their amazingly successful Plant a Rainforest Project in the Daintree from the 22nd to the 26th of June and from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July. We have designed it so it is easier to navigate and we have added a Rainforest Blog packed full of news and useful information about our precious rainforests.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background The birds-of-paradise Paradisaeidae form one of the most prominent avian examples of sexual selection and show a complex biogeographical distribution. The family has accordingly been used as a case-study in several significant evolutionary and biogeographical syntheses.

As a robust phylogeny of the birds-of-paradise has been lacking, these hypotheses have been tentative and difficult to assess. Here we present a well supported species phylogeny with divergence time estimates of the birds-of-paradise. We use this to assess if the rates of the evolution of sexually selected traits and speciation have been excessively high within the birds-of-paradise, as well as to re-interpret biogeographical patterns in the group.

Results The phylogenetic results confirm some traditionally recognized relationships but also suggest novel ones. Furthermore, we find that species pairs are geographically more closely linked than previously assumed. The divergence time estimates suggest that speciation within the birds-of-paradise mainly took place during the Miocene and the Pliocene, and that several polygynous and morphologically homogeneous genera are several million years old.

Victoria’s Riflebird

Other special birds Other special birds Choosing special birds in the Wet Tropics is perhaps an impossible challenge – there are so many. We could choose the most common that you are likely to see, or the rare or endemic or endangered species, or those with interesting habits. For the time-being, here are a few showy species which also fit some of the other categories above.

Riflebirds There are three riflebirds in Australia and all three are quite spectacular.

Red Mill House – Daintree Birdwatching Red Mill House in Daintree – recognised internationally as high quality birdwatching accommodation in Daintree, Queensland’s Wet Tropics region of Australia – arguably, the countries finest birding area. Hosts Andrew and Trish Forsyth are keen Daintree birders with a wealth of local knowledge on birds, their sightings and the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest.

Tuesday, June 24, Winter birds Beautiful winter weather here in Daintree with cool nights, foggy mornings and clear warm days – just the way we like it! I must say, though, that it is about time after 6 months of wet weather and making it to 3. Everything is starting to dry out, which is very satisfying, considering the amount of mould we have had to deal with this year. The garden is also starting to reshoot quite nicely after the cyclone.

We still have a few stumps and chunks of wood to move, but things are looking better. One of the effects of having a cyclone go through is that it wipes out all the fruit and flowers in the forest and the garden for several weeks, if not months. It’s hard work keeping up with bananas and pawpaws, coconuts, seed and nectavite for all the hungry honeyeaters, friarbirds, drongos, riflebirds, doves, scrub fowl and turkeys that are standing around rattling their feed bowls every morning!

Even the scrubfowl have taken to jumping up onto the feeders. We have never seen so many Victoria’s Riflebird female only, unfortunately in the garden as this year.

BIRDS OF PARADISE: Paradisaeidae

He has been considered the father of study in Australia. His identification of the birds now nicknamed Darwins finches played a role in the inception of Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection, Goulds work is referenced in Charles Darwins book, On the Origin of Species. Gould was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, the first son of a gardener and he and the boy probably had a scanty education.

Shortly afterwards his father obtained a position on an estate near Guildford, Surrey and he was for some time under the care of J. Aiton, of the Royal Gardens of Windsor. The young Gould started training as a gardener, being employed under his father at Windsor from to and he became an expert in the art of taxidermy.

Advanced Search Abstract Biogeographical history and taxonomic delimitation in the Australo-Papuan bird-of-paradise Lophorina—Ptiloris species complex is examined with a combination of DNA and morphological markers. The results suggest that the complex started to diverge in the mid-Pliocene, driven by initial isolation and adaptation to altitudinally different habitats. As in many other New Guinean avian taxa, phylogeographic structure is more varied in montane Lophorina than foothill Ptiloris.

With the exception of populations of Lophorina in the eastern New Guinean cordillera, phylogenetic patterns from molecular data and morphological discontinuities are consistently concordant, as are molecular species delimitation tests with previous morphology-based circumscription of taxa in Ptiloris. In Lophorina, however, both molecular data and significant, re-discovered morphological traits identify several taxa as more deeply differentiated than hitherto thought. Accordingly, we use these data in an integrative taxonomic approach to re-delimit taxa in the entire clade, including the recognition of three species in the previously monospecific Lophorina.

In Lophorina, the identity of several type specimens is reviewed, one new subspecies is described from the Vogelkop, and the identity of the species name superba Pennant is resolved by neotypification, with correction of its author.

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Australian Wildlife Photography and Nature-based Travel Information Birds of Paradise Mainly found in rainforests or other densely vegetated areas, the male birds of paradise generally have large patches of bright iridescent colours. Birds of Paradise were so named, because the first specimens to reach Europe were skins that were sent as gifts from the Molluccas to the King of Spain. The Molluccans called the birds Bolon diuata, meaning birds of God. The skins were used by the Molluccans for ceremonial purposes, and during their preparation the legs and wings had been removed.

This gave rise to a long held myth that these legless birds never came to earth, and that the female laid her eggs in a hollow on the males back. Paradisaeidae family Paradise Riflebird Lophorina paradiseus Riflebirds are unlike any other Australian bird. Both sexes have long, slender, decurved bills and short tails. The adult male is velvet black above the oily green below; the crown, throat, breast and central tail feathers are iridescent. The female is brown and lacks iridescent, The female is brown and lacks iridescence but the white eyebrow, reddish wings and arrow-like

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Lowland to subalpine rainforests and some associated forests and wet woodland communities Conservation status Vulnerable: Scientists traditionally associated them most closely with bowerbirds Ptilonorhynchidae , but a major dichotomy between the two groups has been widely accepted. Results of several molecular studies place the separation of birds of paradise and other corvines superfamily Corvoidea from bowerbirds superfamily Menuroidea at 28 million years ago.

The current distribution of birds of paradise strongly supports the thesis that the group radiated in New Guinea. All of the generic radiations are either endemic or largely confined to New Guinea. The family Paradisaeidae comprises 17 genera and 42 species that are divided into two subfamilies:

List of hybrid birds-of-paradise Hybrid birds-of-paradise may occur when individuals of different species, that look similar and have overlapping ranges, confuse each other for their own species and crossbreed. When Erwin Stresemann realised that hybridisation among birds-of-paradise might be an explanation as to why so many of the described species were so rare, he examinined many controversial specimens and, during the s and s, published several papers on his hypothesis.

Many of the species described in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are now generally considered to be hybrids, though some are still subject to dispute; their status is not likely to be settled definitely without genetic examination of museum specimens. Description[ edit ] Sicklebills such as this brown sicklebill have decurved bills Birds-of-paradise are closely related to the corvids.

In most species, the tails of the males are larger and longer than the female, the differences ranging from slight to extreme. The wings are rounded and in some species structurally modified on the males in order to make sound. There is considerable variation in the family with regard to bill shape. Bills may be long and decurved, as in the sicklebills and riflebirds, or small and slim like the Astrapias.

As with body size bill size varies between the sexes, although species where the females have larger bills than the male are more common, particularly in the insect eating species. The manucodes and paradise-crow, which are socially monogamous, are sexually monomorphic. So are the two species of Paradigalla , which are polygamous. All these species have generally black plumage with varying amounts of green and blue iridescence.

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The Mating Dance – A must see!!!!