But in 2013, all that finally changed. Wildlife photographer John Young was in Western Queensland when he, miraculously, spotted the bird. For the first time, there was proof that the Night Parrot wasn't extinct. “It was an out-of-body experience,” he said.
Australian Birdlife Magazine editor Sean Dooley said, “The night parrot is the holy grail of world bird-watching, it's probably the hardest bird in the world to see.” He added, “If John Young's claims prove to be correct this is the world bird-watching equivalent of finding Elvis flipping burgers in an outback road house.”
Murphy said it's part of the process for conserving the bird. However, there's always the fear that something could go wrong when you have to capture it first. He said, “If there was any other way to study it, we would.”
The next morning, one member of the group was walking in the area looking for other birds. That's when it happened — a Night Parrot darted out in front of him. He called the rest of the group over to take a look.
“We were able to go down and re-find it and we had our cameras at the ready to get a photo,” said Bruce Greatwich, one member of the group. “We were elated, as excited as you could be...to have something happen that we have worked towards for a long time and lots of people have tried to achieve … we were clearly very, very excited.”
So what does this all mean? For one thing, knowing an endangered animal is in Western Australia means the area will be under tighter scrutiny for environmental protection. Rohan Clarke of Research Ecology said, “Mining companies, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Parks and Water… they will have to place a lot more import into reported sightings now or in the future when they are making an assessment around potential developments or habitat destruction in the area.”
Now that we know the Night Parrot isn't extinct, actions will be taken to keep that from happening.