Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

The Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) in northern Western Australia: a recent sighting from the Pilbara region

Robert A. Davis A C and Brenden M. Metcalf B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Animal Biology M092, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

B Hotham River Cottage, 9132 Albany Highway, Boddington, WA 6390, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: rob@graduate.uwa.edu.au

Emu 108(3) 233-236 https://doi.org/10.1071/MU07058
Submitted: 3 October 2007  Accepted: 4 June 2008   Published: 8 August 2008


The Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) is an enigmatic species thought possibly to be extinct until the recent recoveries of two dead specimens from Queensland. The type specimen and many early sightings, however, came from Western Australia. We describe a new sighting of the Night Parrot from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, on 12 April 2005, at a well near the Fortescue Marshes. We provide details of our sighting and review the behaviour observed in the context of historical and contemporary records from the north-west of Western Australia.


We are very grateful to Piers Higgs (Gaia Resources) for constructing Fig. 1 and to Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, especially Luke Sibon and Dianne Dowdell, for supporting Night Parrot research. John Blyth provided us with much of the early literature and his knowledge and enthusiasm. Mike Bamford provided the initial and subsequent opportunities to find out more about Night Parrots, and encouraged us to write this paper. We are grateful to Allan Burbidge for providing us with references and information and for his constructive comments on an early draft of this manuscript. Leo Joseph, Mike Double, David Watson and two anonymous referees also provided valuable advice on earlier drafts of this manuscript.


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