Publisher: PBS, March 2011
The island of New Guinea in the South Pacific is home to birds so spectacular and unique that the first Europeans to see the birds in the sixteenth century named them "birds of paradise", believing they must have come to Earth directly from heaven. The indigenous people of New Guinea have lived with the birds for thousands of years, and have long honoured and revered them as sacred ancestors and powerful spirits of their world. Their ancient traditions make the birds' feathers highly prized and the birds very vulnerable. But to find these birds in New Guinea is extremely difficult, and to witness their extraordinary mating displays is even tougher. David Attenborough introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists who are on a grueling expedition to find and film these breathtaking birds. They hope to learn a few of the secrets of these heavenly creatures, and to find a way to ensure their future. This 1 hour programme is narrated by David Attenborough.