The Kirin Moon-Sickle Picture

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The Kirin Moon-Sickle bird of paradise

The Kirin Moon-Sickle bird of paradise, found in the Tamao islands, is perhaps the showiest of all moon-sickles. Named after the Japanese kirin both for its mythological sacredness to the Tamaoan people, and its resemblance of their representation of the kirin. Unlike other birds of paradise, the Tamaoan people refuse to hunt the Kirin Moon-Sickle, despite it's magnificent breeding plumage. Those birds found killed from the predation of other animals, who dead for other reasons, are given formal burial rights. It is thought that the spirits of Kirin Moon-Sickle go on to become royal Kirin in the afterlife.

The Kirin Moon-Sickle lives almost entirely off the crimson berry-reeds and the insects that are found upon them, which fruit all year round. Despite these berries being poisonous to all other birds, the Kirin Moon-Sickle is actually the berry-reed's primary pollinator.

Here the Kirin Moon-Sickle is shown with a potential mate, in its rarely glimpsed circle pose, the final display before successful courtship. This pose shows off its most ornate head plumage, and unbroken iridescence.


21 x 29.7 cm (or 8.3 x 11.7 in)
Crescent Illustrator's Board, Fineliner, Aquarelle, Metallic + Iridescent Acrylic, Pencil.
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