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Papua New GuineaMartin Cooper, USA

When I signed up for the ORYX photography tour to Papua New Guinea, I thought I might get a few nice images of exotic birds, but I thought the chances for seeing any bird of paradise were remote based on the experiences of a professional wildlife photographer and acquaintance. I thought seeing one display was impossibly improbable. Having gone with ORYX and their terrific guide, Rich Lindie, I am enthusiastic to announce that I was totally wrong. Rich has encyclopedic knowledge of birds and their habitats, so he knew exactly where to look for the birds of paradise. I came away with good images of five species of birds of paradise, two of whom were displaying for females. The extra cream was a morning spent with the Huli Wigmen, where we got to see their school and watch them apply their makeup, both at least as photographically interesting as their dances. If you wish to photograph the beautiful and exotic, do not miss this tour.

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