The Elusive Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis)

The Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) is a small parrot endemic to the continent of Australia. The species was originally placed within its own genus (Geopsittacus),but most authors now prefer to place it within the genus Pezoporus together with the two ground parrots.

Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis)

It is well known as being one of the most elusive and mysterious birds in the world, with no known sightings of the bird between 1912 and 1979, leading to speculation that it was extinct. Sightings since 1979 have been extremely rare and the bird’s population size is unknown, though based on the paucity of records its thought to number 50–249 mature individuals.

This map shows historical sightings of this extremely rare parrot.

Sightings of the Night Parrot from Wikipedia

FROM:  AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC:

A LIVE NIGHT PARROT has reportedly been photographed in western Queensland for the first time since the species was discovered more than 150 years ago.

With a loosely estimated population of less than 250 individuals across central Australia, the last living night parrot specimen was collected in 1912 at Nicol Spring in Western Australia.

The species has since famously avoided detection, save a handful of sightings and two dead specimens, the most recent of which was a decapitated young female picked up by a ranger in Queensland’s Diamantina National Park in 2006.

Full story

City Parrots also has a story on this discovery.  Exact location of the sighting are secret for now because otherwise the place would be inundated with bird watchers and this is a very sensitive species.

Next week, bushman naturalist John Young will present to the world a series of photographs and a 17-second video of a bird he watched for 35 minutes in torchlight. He will say it proves beyond doubt that he has, at last, found the elusive, mysterious night parrot.

 

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