Ribbon-tailed astrapias have the longest tail feathers relative to body size
With two feathers that trail behind like streamers, the ribbon-tailed astrapia stands out from its surroundings
Found only in the western areas of the central mountains of Papua New Guinea, the ribbon-tailed astrapia is a species of bird-of-paradise that is renowned for its extravagantly coloured plumage.
Ribbon-tailed astrapias have the longest tail feathers in relation to body size of any bird. The males have just two beautiful white feathers that stream out like ribbons far behind the bird’s olive green and bronze body, which is where the bird gets its name. These feathers can grow to three times the bird’s body length and are solely used for attracting a mate. In fact, they can often be a hindrance, as they make flying more difficult, offer no warmth and can easily get tangled in branches, preventing a quick escape.
Sadly, it is also because of these beautiful feathers that the species is currently listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, as the birds are often hunted to satisfy collectors that covet them.