Night Parrot debate

Subject: Night Parrot debate
From: Colin R <>
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:16:45 +1000
Well said Stephen.

This isn't about John Young, its about the discovery - and the minimal
amount of info released to date. 

It'd be more upsetting if no one cared.


On Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 11:29 AM, Stephen Murray wrote:
> Lloyd. Thank you for sharing this information.
> However, I have to say that say I am completely taken aback by the way
> people have been demonised for daring to ask a few questions about  the
> photos. These are the first pictures we have  ever been shown of a live
> Night Parrot. Did Mr Young really think people were not going to look
> closely at the photograph?  People just wanted to know was why was it
> altered, how much of it was altered, and did the publishers know it was
> altered.   For that they are told to 'shut up', 'get a life' or worse,
> accused of slander.  The religious fervour building up around this event
> is
> starting to cloud people's judgement.  All the information about what a
> good
> bloke John is, and how much he has sacrificed to get to this point, is
> totally irrelevant to the discussion about the photo.
> I particularly don't like the implication that because the photos were
> only
> for public consumption it doesn't really matter that they were altered.
> You
> have to remember that, until this discovery makes its way into a
> scientific
> journal, members of the public have very little to go on.  Just a few
> altered photos and what we have been told.
> Steve Murray
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Lloyd
> Nielsen
> Sent: Monday, 14 October 2013 6:39 PM
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Night Parrot debate
> Someone asked for the truth in this matter so please read below. I should
> add that I have known John for about 30 years, have worked with him on
> many
> occasions and regard him as a close friend.
> John finally got the photos of the Night Parrot with the help of a
> birding
> friend who has accompanied him on many of the trips (and who also saw the
> parrot during that time). After the night of photography and some sleep
> was
> had, they packed up and headed for home - a 15 hour drive. As soon as
> John
> got within mobile range, he phoned me to say "We got it!" He was so
> excited
> that he could hardly get the words out. They arrived back in Cairns late
> that night. Next morning around 9.00 am John arrived up here at my place
> and
> we sat at my kitchen table and spent a couple of hours going through
> about
> 50 or so of the best photos as well as the video. I was the first to see
> them. I had already heard much of the sound that John had got on previous
> visits but we went through some of that again. Over previous years, I
> spent
> time with him out at some of the sites where he has been looking for the
> parrot, including the one where he finally got the photos. I have not
> been
> fortunate enough to see the bird myself but know the exact site where he
> photographed it - in fact the very spinifex bush the bird disappeared
> under!
> As far as John altering the photo digitally is concerned, all he did was
> to
> take a small spinifex twig off the birds back which was spoiling the
> photo.
> I have just spoken to him again and he assures me adamantly that before
> he
> sent the photo that is all he did (not that I needed that assurance). The
> photo (a jpg!) was not for scientific consumption but for PUBLIC
> consumption! What is the drama over that? Some people seem to have
> problems
> differentiating between the two - just read the debate on Bird Forum. It
> is
> something which happens a million times a day in the publishing world.
> There
> are another hundred plus original Raw files which will be available for
> publication at a later date with a scientific paper if needed.
> I really can't believe some of the comments and doubting from some people
> which has made its way onto Birding-aus!! John Young is one of the most
> remarkable and talented field ornithologists Australia has ever seen and
> yet
> there are people out there (mostly those who have never met
> him) who still try to put him down at every opportunity.
> And as far as the "debate" on the Bird Forum website is concerned, after
> reading a few of those postings, I quickly hit the delete button - I have
> better things to do than to waste time reading discussion such as that
> which
> at times denigrates Australian birding and birders, with some bordering
> on
> defamation. Why don't these people take some notice of the Aussies? A few
> noted Australian ornithologists made an attempt to convince them that the
> sighting and photographs were genuine but that seemed to be ignored but a
> number of contributors.
> Finally, a message to the doubters and knockers - for goodness sake, go
> take
> a cold shower and give the man a break!! Recognise his ability, what he
> has
> achieved and what he is doing. Allow him to make more data available in
> his
> own good time. He is already working on the parrot and its welfare
> (voluntarily with no financial remuneration) with others including some
> from
> the scientific community. The object of this is to determine the status
> of
> the bird etc etc, trying to locate it in other areas, to determine the
> best
> ways to protect the bird, AND ways in which others might see it without
> endangering the species. You are not helping either the cause (especially
> when and if funds need to be raised at some time), the future of the
> Night
> Parrot or the chance for others to see it!
> And for those people asking (almost demanding) him to divulge all that he
> has gained, discovered and learned so far - does one immediately write a
> paper at first encounter with a species? He has already conducted a
> public
> forum at his own expense for the benefit of birders. 
> Just remember this - John derives a living from consultancy etc. in the
> natural history field (he does not have a highly paid government or other
> job) and the quest for the Night Parrot has already cost him more than 6
> figures of his own money as well as thousands of hours in the field for
> which he has received very little remuneration to date. Are these people
> going to contribute to some form of remuneration. Give the man a break!
> Lloyd Nielsen,
> Mt Molloy, Nth Qld
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  Colin Reid
So many birds, so little time......

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