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Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

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…”I was barely 6 years old, when I first saw the first picture of a Bird of Paradise in a book that belonged to my father. A few years later, I saw the first footage in a documentary on television. I was amazed with the beauty and mind you, I was not watching the documentary on some high definition television. I was watching the documentary on a television full of all kinds of distortions and interruptions, and by the way it was in black and white. Yes, for the younger generations, back than televisions were in black and white, no color 

The dream about seeing these birds was even extensively fuelled by a famous sticker album that portrayed the birds of the world and obviously Birds of Paradise were there amongst the best stickers and guess what? Even on the cover of the album. As the years went by, my passion for birds grew stronger and stronger. My long-life dream was to one day visit Papua New Guinea, to observe the amazing wildlife this incredible island harbored.

Than one day, out of the blue, I saw a post on the internet. My eyes opened widely, my interest was ignited and in the time I wrote this sentence I had sent an email to enquire about the trip to Papua New Guinea and within days my dream trip was booked. The day to travel arrived and I was excited as a little boy getting his first chocolate bar, his first ice cream or attending to his first football match.

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Landing in Papua New Guinea was just the first step. Now my goal was closer. I was finally about to fulfill my dream. My excitement was sky high. I could not wait for daybreak. Still dark, I was ready to pop out of the camp to look for the first sighting of Bird of Paradise. I knew I had to wait for some days to see my favorite species, Reggiana Bird of Paradise as this was located in a different part of the country. But I was ready for any species I got lucky to see.

As the days progressed I was observing one species after another. One more amazing and spectacular than the previous one. My mind was being blown away with the incredible beauty of these birds. My heart was pumping like that of a man in love. My eyes were watering with emotions.

I thought that during the long wait to see these birds, I had prepared myself for such natural beauty, possessed by these birds. I was not. Experiencing the real thing, in these incredible forests, amongst the intriguing sounds of nature, absorbed by the natural beauty of these environments was by far a more tremendous experience. In fact I would dare say a heavenly sensation.”_________ ©Michael Sammut.

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