THE LINDA HALL LIBRARY HISTORY OF SCIENCE COLLECTION
Duperrey's Voyage 1822-1825
The naturalist on
board, René Primavère Lesson, would become known
for the important studies that he made of the birds of New Guinea.
He considered the emerald bird of paradise the most magnificent
bird of that country.
one of the first days of our arrival in New Guinea, this promised-land
of naturalists," he wrote, "we glimpsed
the emerald birds of paradise flying in the deep darkness of
the old forests, creating perhaps the grandest and most magical
spectacle ever to strike the eye of a European. The birds’
wings beat the air with graceful undulations: the feathers of
their flanks form an elegant and aerial plume which, without
hyperbole, resemble a brilliant meteor, streaming through the
air like a star."
torotoro and Martin-chausseur gros-bec
above three images are from Voyage Autour du Monde… sur la Corvette…La Coquille
Pendant les Années 1822-1825:
Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1825-39.
many New Guinea birds, such as these colorful specimens, and he
did collect a red female bird of paradise (females lack the famous
plumage of the males). Unhappily he was not successful during
his assignment aboard the Coquille, in procuring a specimen
of the male, jewel-green bird of paradise that he so admired.