Super-rare Night Parrot grabbed, tagged, and released in Australia

The Night Parrot, By Martin ThompsonFlyingidiot at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

A Night Parrot – an extremely rare member of the nocturnal parrot family known for its wary elusiveness, has reportedly been captured, tagged and released in the western Queensland part of Australia, according to the website of the Guardian newspaper.

This is a huge deal in the parrot world because Night Parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) have been almost impossible to photograph — or even see — by humans, with none being visually identified between 1912 and 1979. In the past few years, however, more evidence has accumulated suggesting that this nocturnal, ground-walking, grass-eating parrot, once thought to be extinct, is still alive, although its current population is thought to be as small as 50 birds.

In 2013, the Night Parrot was photographed for the first time, leading to worldwide media coverage, plus concern among naturalists that this extraordinary discovery might lead to unauthorized human attempts to view the animal, thus disrupting the bird’s routine and possibly endangering its existence, which remains precarious due to feral cats, fires, and other hazards.

For this reason the precise location of the Night Parrot has been kept a secret for the past two years. Explorer John Young, who in May 2013 photographed the Night Parrot a few minutes after midnight, is on record as saying he would “rather go to jail than tell anyone where I found it,” according to The Australian newspaper. “The last thing I want to see is hundreds of people out there with night lights,” said Young.

Hopefully, the secret site where the Night Parrot was captured and released will soon be a protected area, according to an article on the website of the Australian Geographic Society.

Note: the wild parrots found in Brooklyn are not nocturnal and are only active during normal business (8 am to 6 pm) hours. Any loud birds observed outside after dark are probably Mockingbirds, not parrots.