What does a highway, a sewage plant and an endangered parrot have in common?
Not much if you think about it – except if the bird in question is an Orange-bellied parrot.
Although I have been birding in the places where this very rare and beautiful bird spends its winters, I have yet to observe one in its natural environment. They spend their winters along the southern coast of Victoria and the south eastern coast of South Australia, including the Coorong which is just over an hour’s drive from my home. In the summer months the little population flies over the wild and stormy Bass Strait to Tasmania where they breed.
When I say “little population”, latest counts suggest that as few as 75 individual birds exist in the wild. That is is getting perilously close to extinct.
So what about that question I posed at the beginning? To answer that question you need to read an interesting article called “A highway, a sewage plant and an endangered parrot.” One very interesting fact I learned from the article is that the Orange-bellied parrot is one of only two parrots world wide which migrate.
I don’t have a photo of an Orange-bellied Parrot – not even of one in a zoo – but below I have included a photo of a very similar species, the Rock Parrot. You will just have to imagine an orange patch on the belly!