James Spencer served as an officer in the District Administration of Papua New Guinea before and after that country's independence. This regularly involved long-duration foot patrols, visiting, administering and staying with local communities at their villages. This invariably led to encounters with birds of paradise, providing the unique opportunity to mix duty with ornithological interest. The author has recorded some these forest visions on canvas and these paintings are reproduced in this book. An appendix records the species he observed in the 1970s, before habitat loss due to commercial development.