Rare Night Parrot Spotted
Last seen a century ago
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
An Australian naturalist claims to have captured video footage of the elusive night parrot, a bird that hasn’t been found alive for more than a century. John Yong, a self-described wildlife detective, showed footage—collected over a 15-year period, with 17,000 hours spent in the field—to enthusiasts and the media at the Queensland Museum.
Experts were overjoyed with the footage. “It’s incontrovertible. He’s got stills, he’s got moving videos and he’s got feathers,” Dr Steve Murphy, senior ecologist at the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Management Unit in South Australia, told ABC News. Australian conservationists likened Young’s sighting to “finding Elvis Presley flipping burgers in the outback.”
The species was decimated during the 19th century with the introduction of cats and foxes to the continent, falling off the scientific record until a dead bird was found in southwest Queensland in 1990.
In 2007, Young’s claim to have discovered a new species of fig parrot was partially discredited after several experts accused him of doctoring his photos.