Fw: [Birding-Aus] Joung Young - Rediscovery of the Night Parrot

To: "COG chatline" <>
Subject: Fw: [Birding-Aus] Joung Young - Rediscovery of the Night Parrot
From: "Tony Lawson" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:19:22 +1100

-----Original Message----- From: Ian Boyd
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:23 PM
Subject: Joung Young - Rediscovery of the Night Parrot

‘The Rediscovery of the Night Parrot’ was the title of John Young’s presentation to a BirdLife Townsville meeting last Saturday. John captivated the 160 or so attendees with an informative account of his 15 year search for one of the worlds most elusive birds. His PowerPoint presentation contained many photos to illustrate his search throughout far western Queensland. Twenty four of the first ever photos of the Night Parrot together with a short video amazed the audience.

Throughout his presentation John’s tenacity and superior bush skills were evident. Details of fruitless searches in varying inhospitable places to the searching of countless numbers of old bird nests for evidence of Night Parrot feathers showed how he built up a theory of where the parrot might be found. The high personal financial cost and the never ending dead ends did not dissuade him for he was certain the bird was out there. His excitement of finally finding the bird was infectious in the audience who were by this time hanging onto his every word.

John finished off by saying that the finding of the Night Parrot was only the beginning. Many more questions need to answered. He explained and illustrated that he is conducting detailed field work with Dr Steve Murphy (an ecologist with expertise on parrots) to gain information on the birds life style, numbers and habitat preference.

John answered a number of questions from the audience. When queried about the call his answer was that the Pizzey and Night field guide gives the best clue; in particular the part about the two note whistle.

All in all, John’s presentation in the rediscovery of a bird, that some thought was extinct and one that had not seen for around 100 years, thrilled the audience that showed their appreciation with an ovation likened to that usually seen at the end of a successful stage show.

At the end of the day it was quite clear that John’s concerns are for the welfare of the bird above anything else. He is also mindful of the privacy of the property owners in the vicinity of where the parrot was found and, with that in mind, was not at all concerned about negative comments on his stand on the secrecy he has put on the discovery location.

It was interesting to note that some in the audience travelled from interstate to Townsville just for the presentation. Such is the interest in John’s discovery.

Ian Boyd
BirdLife Townsville
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