Image: King of Saxony Bird of Paradise head plume
Detail of a head plume of the King of Saxony Bird of Paradise
- Carl Bento
- © Australian Museum
The amazing head plumes of the male King of Saxony Bird of Paradise are highly modified feathers. Enamel-like plates, called flags, are actually modified barbs emerging from the elongated central feather shaft. The male uses these plumes in a variety of movements and postures during the courtship display.