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

World of Animals - - Shake Your Tail Feathers -

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.

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