<p>The male <a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/birds-of-paradise/white-text">bird of paradise</a> from Papua New Guinea uses its &nbsp;coiled tail feather in a complex mating ritual. &nbsp;</p>

Coiled for Action

The male bird of paradise from Papua New Guinea uses its  coiled tail feather in a complex mating ritual.  

Photograph by Robert Clark, Nat Geo Image Collection

These Stunning Photos of Feathers Will Tickle Your Fancy

A new book chronicles the dazzling evolution of plumage from around the world.

Bright, bold, and beautiful—bird feathers are some of nature’s most fascinating works of art.

National Geographic photographer Robert Clark gives them special attention in his new book Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage.

Clark went around the world, from China to Austria, to chronicle the dazzling evolution of plumage. He mined feather collections to photograph hundreds of feathers in various colors and patterns. (Read "Feathers of Seduction" in National Geographic magazine.)

For Clark, the draw of feathers is more than skin-deep.

“They’re beautiful for sure,” he says. “To me, what makes them beautiful is their function—their functionality has created their form, so I find that fascinating.”

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