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The Screen Guide

The delicate and spectacular plumes of the Birds of Paradise have an almost magnetic attraction for the highland peoples of Papua New Guinea. Greatly sought after as items of wealth and decoration, the village men search the forests in the hunt for this feathered gold. The New Guinea men know the birds well - their life cycle and elaborate courtship behaviour in which they use their plumes to attract prospective mates. The people see a strong parallel with their own lives. They believe that by wearing the birds' feathers in their own sacred ceremonies and dances they will gain some of the qualities they revere in the Birds of Paradise. This documentary explores this relationship and show some of the remarkable sexual displays of these unique birds.

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Sir David Attenborough  Chris Masters
David Parer
Executive Producers
Dione Gilmour


Sandy Gore (narrator)

Production Details

Production Completion
History and national identity, Natural history and environment
Production Company
ABC TV Natural History Unit


International Sales
ABC Content Sales