This month sees the release of Penny Olsen’s long awaited (and controversial) book Night Parrot: Australia’s Most Elusive Bird (CSIRO, 2018). It includes 2 of my night parrot paintings, and a bit of the story behind my long obsession with this strange desert bird…
‘The competitiveness and secrecy, the triumphs and adventures of the history of the Night Parrot and its followers.
For well over a century, the Night Parrot lured its seekers into Australia’s vast, arid outback. From the beginning it was a mysterious bird. Fewer than 30 specimens were collected before it all but disappeared, offering only fleeting glimpses and the occasional mummified body as proof of its continued existence. Protected by spinifex and darkness, the parrot attained almost mythical status: a challenge to birdwatchers and an inspiration to poets, novelists and artists.
Night Parrot documents the competitiveness and secrecy, the triumphs and adventures of the history of the bird and its followers, culminating in the recent discovery of live birds at a few widely scattered locations. It describes what we are now unravelling about the mysteries of its biology and ecology and what is still left to learn. Complemented by guest essays, illustrations and photographs from a wide variety of sources, this book sheds light on Australia’s most elusive bird.’
Available at all good bookshops, or from the publisher at: http://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7356/