Is it weird that when I came across the cabinet of curios at our Museum of Natural Sciences, my first words were – “I really would love to have something like this in the living room”? The husband thought so, his first comment after being something to the effect of “No, that’s just creepy.” Then again, he does call my workroom “the saddest petting zoo ever.” We went into our closest “large” city this weekend for a show and made a slight detour to see the Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution exhibit. The thought of colorful birds as totems had been rolling around in my head since the parrot and I thought it would be nice to learn more (i.e. have a bird geek out). I was excited to see there was a crow among all those flashy birds, lycocorax pyrrhopterus, having never really thought of crows as birds-of-paradise. There were some pretty amazing shape shifters, such as the Superb-Bird-of-Paradise. I also found an interesting bit of folklore from The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World Vol. 2 – “In New Guinea, the natives hold the skin of the bird-of-paradise in great veneration as being sacred, and use it as a charm against the dangers of war.” Birds-of-Paradise are said to symbolize extravagant thoughts and the removal from worldly concerns. As I was completely transfixed by their myriad of colorful displays, I would have to agree.