Bird is the Word at Perot Museum’s New Exhibit

DALLAS -- There's a brand new temporary exhibit at the Perot Museum, and today we got a "sneak beak." The exhibit is called Birds of Paradise.

"It captures the first comprehensive study of all 39 species of birds of paradise from New Guinea," explained Eveline Kuchmak, who runs the temporary exhibitions for the Museum.

Capturing all those super-rare birds on film was no small task!

"It was an extraordinary effort, really," said Seth Dematties from National Geographic.  It was that publication that sent the two photographers to New Guinea in the first place.  "Over eight years, they conducted 18 expeditions."

Yeah, Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes III had to travel halfway across the globe to see these exotic birds, but you don't even have to leave the Metroplex.

"You're immersed in New Guinea," said Kuchmak. "And you kind of follow the scientists along on their adventure."

"It gives you that sensation of being in the environment that these explorers were in to capture these rare species," Dematties said.  "Patiently waiting for hours and hours throughout the day in a cramped little blind, to document and get one of these birds of paradise in a perfect photograph frame."

A lot of those photos are on display here, and some of the birds themselves (taxidermied, of course), along with videos of their famous dance moves. You can even try some of those moves yourself, with a game called "Dance Dance Evolution."

"Going through the exhibit space, you really get a feel for why the birds are so important, and you're kind of wrapped up in this adventure," Kuchmak said. "It's just really fabulous to get to know more about a bird that you wouldn't know anything about otherwise."

Birds of Paradise opens Friday and will be open through January 8.