Touring exhibition: Rituals of Seduction: Birds of Paradise

In the rainforests of New Guinea, Australia and Indonesia, the birds of paradise engage in extraordinary rituals to attract a mate.


rituals of seduction inside the exhibition image 2

James King  © Australian Museum

Rituals of Seduction: Birds of Paradise enters this extraordinary environment and invites visitors to consider – are we more like birds than we think?

‘When it comes to attracting a mate, male birds of paradise do it in style.’

Sir David Attenborough, nature broadcaster

The exhibition looks at how both birds and people engage in a variety of decoration, display and dance to draw attention to themselves – for the birds, at least, as part of courtship rituals – and at the close relationship between birds of paradise and people.

It features magnificent still photography, film footage and mounted specimens showing these eccentric species and the people who share their forest homes. Also on display are items from the Australian Museum’s anthropology collection including wigs made from human hair and magnificent feathered headdresses.

Exhibition Specifications

  • Requirements: Floor space 350–400 m2

Exhibition Highlights

  • Interviews with contemporary PNG highland clansmen
  • Real bird-of paradise specimens in all their finery
  • Costumes, headdresses and other artefacts from the collections of the Australian Museum

Exhibition Package

Birds of paradise specimens:

  • 25 mounted specimens
  • 32 study skins

Cultural objects:

A range of body adornments, elaborate wigs and headdresses decorated with feathers from birds of paradise and other species.


Over 35 mins of video on DVD (audio and subtitling included) with bird dances, cultural celebrations, costume assembly and interviews.


Graphics package and media kit available to adapt to your local venue.

Education Resources

Educate and engage your audiences with these exciting education programs.

Borrow our Birds Museum in a Box®. Each box contains a collection of real Museum specimens and objects, education resources, dioramas and information.

Connect with us virtually. Access the Australian Museum's collection and experts through our video conferences.


Louise Teteris

Project Coordinator, Touring Exhibition Development & Sales

Touring Itinerary

Russ Weakley , Web Designer
Last Updated:

Tags touring exhibitions, rituals of seduction, birds of paradise, rituals of seduction: birds of paradise, travelling exhibitions, traveling exhibitions, touring, travelling,