The rain forests of New Guinea and their feathered occupants are revealed this week with “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution,” a National Geographic Traveling Exhibition coming to the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College in TC.
The exhibition reveals all 39 species of these elusive birds for the first time. Highlighting the photography of Tim Laman and the research of ornithologist Edwin Scholes, the exhibition features the extravagant plumage, crazy courtship dances and bizarre behaviors of the extraordinary Birds of Paradise.
The exhibition will run from June 16 through September 22.
Visitors will meet Laman and Scholes through videos as they enter the exhibit, where they will also be greeted with natural soundscapes, traditional wood carvings and a montage of all 39 birds-of-paradise species.
In addition, visitors can examine the bizarre courtship dances that the males perform to attract the females. Interactive games such as “Dance, Dance Evolution” let people dance along with the birds to learn their signature moves.
The first-ever video of the female’s pointof-view of the dances is shown, captured through an innovative use of equipment created by Laman and Scholes. Visitors can also manipulate artificial tree branches to trigger video footage of different birds displayed on their perches, with commentary from Scholes.
The exhibition is sponsored in part by Northern Express Weekly. Admission to the Dennos will be $10 for adults and $5 for children and museum members.
Dennos Museum Center members and the community are invited to a ticketed preview opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday June 15 at 7 p.m. The reception will feature champagne from L Mawby Vineyards and hors d’oeuvres followed by a program in Milliken Auditorium at 8 p.m. presented by Kathryn Keane, VP of Exhibitions at National Geographic Museum and Edwin Scholes, ornithologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Tickets are $15 for museum members and $20 for non-members. They can be purchased online at www.dennosmuseum. org/birds or by calling 231-995-1573.