Image: King Bird of Paradise tail plume
Detail of the tail plume of a King Bird of Paradise.
- Carl Bento
- © Australian Museum
The pair of ornate central 'wires' in the male King Bird of Paradise tail are an important part of his display. As the young male bird matures into adult plumage, his two central tailfeathers also change. Successive moults over a four-year period change the two 'normal-feather-shaped' feathers to the impressive curled, spatulate-tipped wires of an adult male.