Monday, July 8, 2013

Rare Australian Parrot Spotted

Pezoporus occidentalis, or what's more commonly referred to as the "night parrot," is an endangered desert-dwelling bird that no one has seen in the wild over a century. However, John Young, an avid Australian birdwatcher, claims to have seen and even photographed this elusive parrot.

If Young's claims are true, this would be the first definitive proof that the night parrot is still alive and inhabiting the lands of Australia. Up until now, scientists were fearful that it may have gone extinct since. Other birdwatchers have recorded calls of the night parrot and even found a couple dead specimens in the wild several decades ago, but no one has seen a live one in over a hundred years. This latest development, should it turn out to be true, is huge news for bird watchers and environmentalists from all over the world.

The night parrot is a relatively small species with colorful yellow and green plumage with several brown spots throughout. It certainly lives up to its namesake by hiding in thick grass during the daytime and coming out to feed at night. Because of its innate nocturnal characteristics and dangerously low population numbers, few people have witnessed the night parrot in the wild.

So, why has the night parrot's population declined to such abysmal numbers? Researchers believe its the direct result of increased predator numbers along with a decrease in their natural habitat. Feral cats, foxes and dingos are all predators that see the night parrot as a meal. Another reason why their numbers have declined is simply because of their nocturnal characteristics. By coming out at night, they are placing themselves at risk for getting scooped up by a predator.

John Young claims to have both photographs and video of the night parrot after his recent encounter. After capturing this highly elusive bird on tape, he took the recordings to the Queensland Museum for verification. I know some people are probably upset that he didn't first post the video online, but this is step is necessary to verify the authenticity of the bird. Researchers at the Queensland Museum will carefully inspect the video to determine if Young did in fact see a night parrot.

Young refused to reveal the night parrot's location out of fear that someone would try to harm it. "I think the worst thing we can do at the moment is to let too many people anywhere near it," said Young.

No comments:

Post a Comment