Fw: Information for inclusion in Night Parrot flyer

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Fw: Information for inclusion in Night Parrot flyer
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:58:58 +1000

From: Darren Callesen 
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: [Birding-Aus] Information for inclusion in Night Parrot flyer

Hi Chris, I'm Elizabeth Shaw's partner.

I have seen Night Parrots, but in the early 1980's.

It was North-East of Alice Springs, I'll gladly give you more accurate details 
in a private email as I don't wish to start a rush, and destroy what little 
habitat they have left. I'm pretty confidant I could locate them after major 
rainfall in the same area.

Now I was not a birder then, and was not aware of what we were looking at, we 
called them King Budgies for want of a better name.

I saw the illustration in BirdLife and exclaimed to Elizabeth I've seen a pile 
of those in my time, yeah-yeah was the reply.

But it wasn't too long before she realized I had described a lot of their known 
behavior without having read the article.

Now it does not surprise me at all that grader drivers are seeing them, so 
definitely follow them up, they may provide some valuable leads, as you say 
they have nothing to gain in bragging rights!

>From the behavior I have observed though (I was lucky enough to have several 
>breading pairs visit my lodgings in search of water) they definitely don't 
>like deep water, they wouldn't go near the pond or the birdbath until nearly 
>empty, (I never ever saw them near dams or turkey nests or open top tanks or 
>troughs), and they really preferred shallow puddles when they were around.

Hope this helps, hence why they might be easier to find after rain, however if 
you find a likely location maybe putting down some water in a shallow puddle 
might just lure them out!

I have to go through some old video footage I have and (don't hold your breath) 
I may have some fleeting glimpses of some among flocks of Budgies, we always 
saw them around Budgie breeding season and that was about it, very elusive 

Hope this helps, they do exist, or did in the 80's, happy birding, Happy 
Snappin' Darren J Callesen

PS. We may just be going near the location in a few months, I hope to get one 
on camera, I'm a pro photographer, so the hunt will be on for sure. We'll let 
you know closer to the date so you can join us if you'd like.   

On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 12:28 AM, ELIZABETH SHAW <> wrote:

  -----Original Message----- From: Ian May
  Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 5:18 PM 

  To: Chris Watson

  Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Information for inclusion in Night Parrot flyer

  Excellent idea Chris.  These are the people who are most likely to see them.

  Regarding the National Night Parrot Network I have found the following
  extracts that might help you locate one of the members.

  The founders of the National Night Parrot Network, which includes the
  Australian Wildlife Conservancy, described it as part research sharing
  group, part rapid response team, ready to climb into a four-wheel-drive
  or an aircraft and head into the desert on reports of a sighting.



  (which included Leo Joseph from the National Night Parrot Network)


  Referring Leo Joseph see


  Ian May
  St Helens, Tasmania

  Chris Watson wrote:

    G'day all,

    I was chatting to an Alice Springs grader driver who is well-known
    (locally) for preferring to conduct his work during the night. He does a
    lot of nocturnal grading in the areas to the near north and east of Alice
    Springs and mentioned that he has seen Night Parrots flushing in the
    spotlights, from the spinifex before his blade. I'm sure we've all heard
    similar claims over the years, but I try to keep an open mind, and figure
    that those who aren't birders or ornithologists have nothing to gain by
    fabricating sightings of rare birds. There's arguable bragging rights that
    might come from being associated with the legend of the Night Parrot, but I
    think folks who make a living driving heavy machinery in the outback have
    other things they'd rather brag about in the company of their mates, than
    seeing a few parrots. This area is between a 1 and 3 hour drive of Alice
    Springs, so is potentially able to be surveyed from here within a short
    time of receiving notification, if people are equipped with the correct

    Anyway, I'm sure this has been done before, but I'm putting together an
    information flyer that I intend to distribute through the CLMA (Centralian
    Land Management Association) which has contacts throughout the Centralian
    pastoral industry who employ grader drivers and similar remote workers
    throughout the region. It seems like they might be a handy group to target.

    The National Night Parrot Network, who I'm sure it's been noted before,
    seem to be as elusive and shrouded in mystery as the bird itself, don't
    seem to have any online presence. If someone on this list could forward me
    the best contact details to include in the flyer that would be a great
    help. Better still, if the Men In Black who constitute the NNPN would like
    to step briefly from the shadows and consult with me on the composition of
    the flyer, I'm sure it would be a better production all-round.

    As photos aren't an option, if anyone has some decent artwork that they are
    able to grant permission for me to use, it'd be much appreciated as my
    efforts with the crayolas so far have been less than stunning in their
    reproduction of a realistic portrait of the Spinifex Chook. This'll be
    funded from my own hip-pocket so there's no funds available I'm afraid, but
    needless to say all artwork will be fully acknowledged.

    I'm not giving up on the fat parrot.


    Keyser Soze (aka Chris Watson)


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