night parrot

To: Peter Shute <>, Bruce Greatwich <>, Adrian Boyle <>, "George Swann of Kimberley Birdwatching" <>
Subject: night parrot
From: Nigel Jackett <>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 05:37:40 +0000
Hi Peter,

We started planning our trip to look for the parrots in that particular
area late last year (prior to hearing any of the calls out of Qld), so our
search was not in response to the information released on the website. However, we obviously took that information
into account once it had been released, and had the Qld calls on hand
during our search. Based on the released information that their peak calls
times were often during the first hour after sunset and before sunrise, we
thought the best way forward would be to spread out roughly 300m through
old-growth (not recently burnt) ring-forming spinifex (roosting habitat)
and listen for their calls from sunset onwards (like you do for ground
parrots). The first night we happened to have put ourselves within the
roosting area of some parrots, and we heard (likely) two individuals not
too far away (about 200m). The following night we stationed ourselves
closer to this area and heard even more individuals (at least 4, possibly
6, and probably including the original 2 from the night before), with at
least two very close (<10m!). At this stage, we still weren't completely
sure that what we were hearing were Night Parrots, because although we
didn't recognise the calls, they also didn't match the Qld calls. Where the
bird was photographed the next morning was not in this particular area
(where the calls had been heard), but nearly a kilometer away in an area we
hadn't listened in previously. I sat in the area were we flushed the bird a
couple of nights later, and heard 1-2 very close to me, as well as another
2 slightly further away. One flew past my head in the twilight.  So with
the minimum of 4 birds (likely 6) heard at the first spot, and the minimum
3 (likely 4) heard where the flushed bird was, there were at least 7 heard,
but more likely closer to 10.

We did hear and record at least four distinct call types. The drawn-out
whistle was a commonly heard one, as was the short 'didit' call (often in
response). The croak call was occasional, as was a ground parrot-like
5-note rising whistle. Although not all the Qld calls have been released,
its certainly plausible that the Night Parrots have their own unique calls
on this side of the country. We still have calls to listen to and analyse,
but I don't imagine it will be long after that until we release the calls
of the birds we heard, on xeno-canto and hopefully on the



On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 3:21 PM, Peter Shute <> wrote:

> It's not yet clear what part, if any, John's Qld birds played in the WA
> discovery.
> They've said they didn't use playback, and that the birds sounded very
> different. But it's tempting to see it as more than coincidence, following
> so closely after John's discovery, and just a few weeks after the release
> of the call. For all I know, this is the end result of decades of attempts
> by this team, and it's just coincidence.
> Perhaps we could draw comparisons with the "Bannister effect" - the
> previously impossible four minute mile was suddenly being broken regularly
> once he'd shown it could be done.
> Peter Shute
> Sent from my iPad
> > On 24 Mar 2017, at 2:08 pm, friarbird43 friarbird43 <
> > wrote:
> >
> > Hi
> > With all respect to John Young and his efforts in Queensland finding
> > Night Parrots, the recent discovery in Western Australia was not his. So
> > the credit is deserved by Adrian Boyle, Nigel Jackett, George Swann and
> > Bruce Greatwich, who discovered the parrot in WA.
> >
> > cheers
> > Ken

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