September 29

The “Ghost Bird” of the Australian deserts with Neil Hamilton


Listen to the podcast episode.


Night Parrot

Pezoporus occidentalis

The last assessment of the Night Parrot cited by the IUCN was published in 2022, by Birdlife International, and the population is estimated to be between 40 and 500 mature individuals, and that population is thought to be decreasing.

For almost 30 years, ornithologist, Neil Hamilton has been caring for, working with and studying birds, and many of Australia's unique animals.

Beginning as teenager at Tooronga Zoo, Neil has gone on to senior keeper positions at Perth Zoo, and moved on to practical conservation work and research with the WA government.

Neil has devoted much of his time in recent years studying the elusive Ghost Bird of the Australian Outback, the Night Parrot, listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, with perhaps as few as 200 mature individuals existing out there in the dry spinifex plains of the Western Australian desert.

In this episode, Neil talks about his career working to understand and protect birds, and organising teams of Ghost Bird volunteers to seek out the Night Parrot on regular survey trips.

One of the sites for Neil's Night Parrot research in 2017

Neil with 2 young Wedgetail eagles Perth Zoo 1981

Neil Hamilton working with Noisy Scrub-bird

Neil Hamilton at Mt Keith

Neil Hamilton in Ghost Bird country

Neil Hamilton working on Pasley Track, Nov. 2010 for Western Ground Parrot

Night Parrot feathers found in 2017

Neil Hamilton


Neil regularly runs field surveys for the Night Parrot in Western Australia with teams of volunteers.  You can get information about Ghost Bird Volunteers here

Ghost Bird Consulting

Follow Neil on Twitter


Australia, Critically endangered, desert, Ghost Bird, NIght Parrot, nocturnal, parrot, rare bird, rediscovered

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