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Birds of Paradise: Revealing the World's Most Extraordinary Birds Hardcover – October 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426209584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426209581
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review

"No group of birds in the world is more beautiful and more intriguing to science than the birds of paradise. Surprisingly, no book showing them displaying in the wild has been done before. But to gain such perspectives and develop such a wonderful collection of pictures has taken years. The result is truly breathtaking."
--Sir David Attenborough, filmmaker and creator of Life on Earth
 
"You’ll initially find it hard to believe that these pictures are real—but they are. These are the most beautiful photographs of the world’s most beautiful birds. The birds’ behavior, richly described in the text, is as remarkable as their appearance. This is a book like no other book."
--Jared Diamond, ornithologist and author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

“The resulting extremes of color, form and behavior are beautifully documented in Schole's new bookco-authored with photographer Tim Laman.” –Sciencefriday.com

“The exhibit “Birds of Paradise” at the National Geographic museum in Washington, along with a book by Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes, offers research, photographs and video of the 39 species of the bird…” The Wall Street Journal

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This is one of the most spectacular bird books I've ever had.
Veronica Litchfield
Gorgeous photos, and interesting text about the birds themselves, plus the difficulties of photographing them.
Kenneth A. Hartman
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated with the Birds of Paradise.
Richard S. Fisher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jose Alzorriz on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those of us who have been following the BoP's for years, this book is the perfect complement to the BBC documentaries made and the books written on what I truly believe are the most fascinating animals on Earth. The pictures and text are way beyond anything I have seen before (and I must say, have quite a collection of material on these birds). At first sight, some of the pictures seem surreal (the page 2 Greater Bird of Paradise's shot from the canopy on Wokam, Aru Islands, is, by itself, worth the money spent on this book) and impossible to take, but just reading about all the years of hard work it took Mr. Laman, Mr. Scholes and his collaborators to complete these masterpiece, one can truly understand what an amazing contribution this book is to and to future generations who love nature at its best. I have already bought a copy for a friend and plan to buy more for other friends because I believe the lives of these amazing creatures need to be learned by as many people as possible. I can not think of a better gift to show people that we human beings are just a tiny part of the animal kingdom, and that many animals are as fascinating as us. As a client of many years of Amazon.com, this is the first review I have ever written, but this book is also the most exciting item I have ever bought in the site, and totally worth a few praising words.
Jose,
Brooklyn, New York
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Richard S. Fisher on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always had a fascination with the birds of paradise. I am not sure where or when I first saw pictures of these incredible birds but it was many many many years ago.

This is the book I had hoped for and it finally has been printed.

I was most fortunate in a visit to the Zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia to have a Greater Bird-Of-Paradise sit on my arm for 5 or so minutes while I fed it mealy worms. You could purchase a small cup of mealy worms from a attendant and then the bird would fly from a high perch and sit on your arm waiting to be fed. The thrill of seeing that bird so very close and being able to observe it as it ate was a thrill I will never forget. The dents left in my arm from the claws were uncomfortable to say the least but well worth it to see him so close.

The video "Birds of the Gods" by David Attenborough was also fantastic and if you haven't seen it it is an absolute must. I hope that the video on this book by National Geographic to be issued later this month is as good as the book.

I did read another reviewer offering some criticism about the photography in the book. I absolutely could find no fault with the colors or the beauty of the pictures. I notice in some pictures that some of the feathers are out of focus blurring them and this is because of the birds motion and/or depth of field problems and not the fault of the photographer. The colors of these birds as shown from what I have seen in person and in Attenborough's video are spot on. Their brilliance is almost unbelievable. The color saturation of the feathers are intense to say the least.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated with the Birds of Paradise.

My only criticism of the book it that I would rather have it in a vertical format rather than "letter box".
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Erik L. Klee on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this book to come out and just received it. Phenomenal photos that took years to take, and yes, unfortunately the colors are highly saturated. Many years ago I was a photo journalist, and I too find the over-saturation quite disappointing. However it is still an excellent book with superb details on the natural history of all 39 species of the Birds of Paradise.

I noted on the last page that the book was printed in China which may go a long way to explain the over-saturation. I lived and worked in China for almost 25 years and have found that the Chinese publishers most always print over-saturated photos. I was told it is a combination of the type of ink, with the type of paper (made in China), and the printing machines the Chinese use. Should any other photographers have ideas about this saturation - would be interested to hear from them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Raggiana on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly remarkable book - first class all the way. All of the many pictures in this book are stunning. Having lived in Papua New Guinea for over a year and having observed most of the PNG species I can truly say that this is a must have book for anyone interested in these magnificent birds. The layout of the book is excellent. Starting with photographs of all 39 species it goes on to describe and show us, by means of photos, the remarkable evolution and courtship displays of these unique birds. The book also treats us to many historical anecdotes touching on the influence they continue to have on the many tribes that inhabit this fascinating but hostile land. The book ends with summaries of the life history, distribution and status of all 39 species not the least of which is a summary of the photographic equipment used. Terrific. Thanks Mr Laman and Scholes for your hard work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wilson on December 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You'll want to savor this book. Sure give it a quick go through to utterly overload your eyes but then go back and give this book the slow treatment. Astounding photos with insightful text make this coffee table book a rare find. Having worked in the canopy of the Peruvian rainforest photographing birds at 100 feet, I fully understand some of the pain, discomfort, tedium, sweat and other tropical slings and arrows Tim Laman suffered to bring home these images. The knowledge and field savvy that Laman and Edwin Scholes employed is beyond compare. And to those critics that say the colors are overblown by the printer, consider that over-the-top colorful birds in the warm light of dawn and dusk can make for some amazing colors that non-photographers (or mid-day photographers) just won't understand. This is a landmark body of work.
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