National Geographic : 2012 Dec
tropics before they began their endeavor, neither could have anticipated the adventure that awaited. ey endured harrowing helicopter rides and long treks along ooded trails, and twice found themselves adri at sea when boat engines failed. In exchange for moments of thrilling discovery, such as the rst view of the Arfak astrapia's upside-down courtship posture, they logged a total of over 2,000 hours simply sitting in blinds, waiting and watching. e sight of a glossy blue-black Jobi manucode marked the quest's end in June 2011. Scholes and Laman hope their work will encourage conserva- tion in New Guinea, where the birds' habitat has so far been protected by its sheer remoteness. As Wallace wrote: "Nature seems to have taken every precaution that these, her choicest treasures, may not lose value by being too easily obtained." j Mel White writes frequently about natural history. Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes co-authored a new National Geographic book: Birds of Paradise. Watch Winged Seduction: Birds of Paradise on National Geographic Channel. Check local listings. Hear the birds' calls and watch them dance on our iPad and Kindle editions.