Re Sean's parrot story (below),
That just shows up the difference between "Ground Parrots" and "ground
parrots" (which, when spoken, sounds the same). There was a discussion on
this on b-a, a few months ago. Clearly, this office person did not know, and
could not have known, they that the enquirer knew, that the things all over
the place are officially called Crimson Rosellas. They do get asked a lot of
dumb questions. In the majority of cases when that question is asked, all
the person probably wants to know is: "where do I go to get my photo taken
with one of these ground parrots?" (which are in fact Crimson Rosellas).
Crimson Rosellas, as with several other parrots, can quite easily be "ground
parrots". Yes, I know they are mostly arboreal. The great majority of people
visiting WPNP are more pleased with the Crimson Rosellas than the Ground
Parrots and there is nothing wrong with that. Last time I was there (22
years ago) the Crimson Rosellas climbed all over me at the picnic areas, I
don't know if they still do that. Whereas for most people, Ground Parrots
are a squeak in the heathland at dusk. I think I know which bird is a better
vehicle for creating an interest in birds, in someone who knows nothing
about them. If Crimson Rosellas were rare, then the few of us that find them
would appreciate them more and most people would miss out.
Surely, it is better that park staff can point the 95% of visitors to a fun
encounter with Crimson Rosellas and run the risk of a temporary
misunderstanding with the 5% of serious birders, who really know that a
"Ground Parrot" is not just a "ground parrot." Surely, all of us have things
we don't know about our own (or nearby) jobs.
Date: Tuesday, 18 January 2000 10:18
Subject: birding-aus Bird info at the Prom
>Following Stuart's story about 'useful' bird information from the staff at
>the Prom, here's another. A friend of mine asked at the info centre at
>River about where to see Ground Parrots. She was met by a look of pity as
>the helpful staff member apparently wondered how stupid someone could be,
>and then shown the large flocks of crimson parrots sitting on the ground
>around the Information Centre.
>It is true that we shouldn't expect all staff members at national parks to
>be experts in our own esoterica, but perhaps we should expect there to be
>at least one person who has a working knowledge of the flora and fauna.
>Other staff should have the courtesy to admit they don't have the answer to
>your question and direct you to someone who does.
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