For over 100 years, the elusive Australian Night Parrot has had no accounts of being seen alive. But documentary film-maker and naturalist, John Young, recently claimed to have photographed the bird in the wild for the first time in a century during his 15 year study on the species. The Night Parrot, a relative of the Budgerigar, is a ground-dwelling and nocturnal bird. Dead specimens have been the only evidence of their survival until now. The species is critically endangered and quite a spectacular creature. Read more here from Reuters and World of Birds.
In 2012, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the bird as critically endangered, its population depleted by feral cats, foxes and changes in the environment after European settlement in Australia.
With no firm estimates about how many of the birds exist in the wild, Young refused to reveal where he found the parrot.
“I think the worst thing we can do at the moment is to let too many people anywhere near it,” said Young. “In the time I had with the bird the other night, it is the most sensitive bird I have ever seen.”
Image Source: William T. Cooper, Night Parrot, Pezoporus Occidentalis, Australian Museum
Sources: Thuy Ong, Reuters, 5 July 2013; Aries Munandi, World of Birds, 9 July 2013