No characteristic better embodies the majesty and diversity of birds than their ostentatious display of color. They flaunt a rainbow of hues in endless combinations to serve a variety of purposes. For New Guinea’s birds-of-paradise, color is an aphrodisiac. At first glance, the male Superb Bird-of-Paradise appears to be an unremarkably monochromatic creature—until it meets a female. Then it transforms, spreading its neck feathers wide to display a cape the lusty shade of black velvet. Feathers on its crown and breast shield flash iridescent aquamarine as the male performs its courtship dance, bouncing across a tree branch like a kernel of heating popcorn.