Birds of Paradise Exhibit at the Perot Museum

*I was invited to a media day preview of the Birds of Paradise exhibition at the Perot Museum.*

Birds of Paradise

I love checking out what is new at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science- it is a guilty pleasure to sneak downtown while the kids are in school and wander on my own. Yes, the kids get jealous, and no, I don’t care – it’s a benefit of our annual membership to go whenever I want! I had a chance today to take a sneak peek of the newest exhibition at the Perot: Birds of Paradise.  Found only in Papua New Guinea, birds-of-paradise are among nature’s most beautifully bizarre flying creatures, and I know this exhibit is really going to appeal to my nature loving kiddo.


Opening Oct. 8,  Birds of Paradise, developed by National Geographic and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, reveals all 39 species of these elusive birds for the first time. The exhibition takes visitors on an exotic journey throughout a virtual rainforest in New Guinea to witness the spectacular plumage, shape-shifting and dazzling dance moves of these sassy and bodacious birds. Presented by Highland Capital ManagementBirds of Paradise makes its only stop in Texas at the Perot Museum through Jan. 8, 2017.

A science exhibition, art show and natural history display in one, Birds of Paradise follows the adventures of photographer Tim Laman and Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientist Edwin Scholes – who made 18 trips to Papua New Guinea over eight years. Interactive stations such as “Dance, Dance Evolution” will let visitors groove along with the birds to learn their signature moves.

Birds of Paradise

You can strut your stuff – literally – at Dance Dance “Evolution” and observers can vote for their favorite dancer!

No shortage of their wonderful interactive stations here, other stations include  “Ready, Set, Evolve,” a “Ladies’ Choice” game, bird call stations and artificial tree branches that visitors can manipulate to trigger video footage of different birds displayed on their perches.  I always encourage the kids to interact with Perot staff in these exhibits – they are a wealth of information and really help bring science to life.

Speaking of which, budding scientists will be captivated by footage of  Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes on their quest to capture these birds on video and in photographs. I was intrigued by their ingenuity and simply the idea of their explorations in Papua New Guinea to capture these beautiful birds.

In addition, visitors can learn about the bizarre courtship dances that the males perform to attract the females, including the first-ever video of the female’s point-of-view of the dances! Photos, videos, bird specimens and a kinetic sculpture of a riflebird (a bird-of-paradise species) also show the transformations that birds-of-paradise undergo to attract their mates and the various moves that make up their mating rituals. They will definitely bring a smile to your face!

Birds of Paradise

I can’t wait to take my kids to see this exhibit, along with a few other special exhibits on display right now – especially “Big Gems of the Smithsonian”.


Looking for ways to extend the fun?  The Perot Museum will offer a covey of Birds of Paradise-related programs and events including First Thursday Late Night: Aviation on Nov. 3, the family-fun Discovery Days: Birds on Dec. 10, and the adults-only Social Science: Flight on Oct. 14.

birds of paradise

The Details:
Birds of Paradise
 requires a surcharge for a total admission cost of $27 for adults (18-64), $19 for youth (2-17), $20 for seniors (65+), and free for children under 2. Member tickets are $6 for adults (18-64) and $5 for youth (2-17) and seniors (65+).


  1. that is great news. this looks like an excellent exhibit for our nature loving family.

    • I think there was something for all ages to enjoy! They did an excellent job covering the evolutionary aspects, the birds themselves, the Victorian fascination with the birds, and more!

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