Of course I have no firsthand information.
I believe a couple of recent sightings (last 20 years) have been
made by people who were riding camels - the point being that the camel
walks up almost silently, so birds don't flush from Triodia clumps till
camel and observer are very close. Observer is at a good height, well
up above the prickly stuff etc, much better placed than a person on
foot.. Trouble is you can't use binoculars when on board an animal -
always some movement as it breathes and shifts slightly.
I believe one problem in discussing them with bush people is that
Bourke Parrots are often mis-named 'Night Parrot', because though
diurnal they come to water when it's very late in the evening and almost
I can well believe that feral Cats would make a severe impact on the
Night Parrot. Some years ago we visited Scorpion Springs in Ngarkat
Conservation Park (SA). At a small pool there was a clump of tall grass
or small bushes handy - obviously the lurking place of a smallish
predator, probably a Cat, possibly a Fox. This was carpeted with
feathers - mostly Bronzewing Pigeons, but also some Parrots(Ringneck I
think) and Cockatoos, and a Spotted Nightjar.
Simon Mustoe wrote:
These discussions tend to generate a lot of digression and discourse
about hardly related topics. For instance, there have been almost as
many postings about the number of birders in UK versus Australia as
there have actually about night parrot. I would like to find out more
about this bird by sharing knowledge about it - after all, this is a
very powerful forum for this purpose.
I have a couple of issues for consideration:
1. Why do we believe night parrot is actually nocturnal? I am going to
pose a hypothesis for discussion, thus:
***Night parrots are considered nocturnal because, i) hardly anyone
ever walks through their habitat during the day; and ii) because most
sightings are made when the animals are 'on the move' (rather like
roos) in the evening, travelling to and from watering holes like other
similar-sized parrots e.g. Bourke's parrot. Night parrot is not
nocturnal at all. This assumption derives entirely from sampling bias.
My next hypothesis:
***Night parrot is, like many other Australian birds, nomadic.
However, even nomadic birds occur in some areas 'regularly' and can be
seen with some reliability. If the first hypothesis is correct, we
hypothesise that the Diamantina region is an area where night parrot
occurs consistently and that a given level of effort (of unknown
person-hours) would result in the bird being found regularly.
Please respond to the list, not to me. And try not to digress from the
point - keep responses to the thread relevant to the thread, or else
set up a new thread.
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