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Elusive Australian bird spotted for first time in 100 years

Thursday, Mar 23, 2017,13:12 IST By joji A A A

Melbourne | A group of four birdwatchers has spotted Australia’s most mysterious bird, the night parrot, that was believed to be extinct and had not been sighted in over a century.

Birdwatchers Adrian Boyle, Nigel Jackett, George Swann and Bruce Greatwich travelled to a habitat they identified by poring over detailed aerial maps, and camped out, listening for the calls of the largely nocturnal parrot.

“The night before, we actually heard the birds, which sounded very unusual to us,” said Nigel, a warden at the Broome Bird Observatory in Australia.

“There were quite a few of them, there was at least five or six of these things calling around us, so we didn’t know what they were, but we saw the habitat was beautiful and thought that they could be night parrots,” he said .

“The next day we walked out into that area and one just burst out from under our feet from the spinifex,” he added.

One of the members of the group, Bruce Greatwich, managed to take a photo of the south end of the northbound bird.

The discovery is the first confirmed sighting of a night parrot in Western Australia for nearly a century. There have been other rumours of sightings throughout the 2000s, but no evidence accompanied them.

“I grew up knowing that the bird was extinct and didn’t expect to ever see one in my life,” Boyle, part of the group that found the bird, was quoted as saying by ‘ABC News’.

The find gives scientists hope that pockets of population live in areas relatively undisturbed by human-caused habitat degradation or feral animals.

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