Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Parrot Down Under

After ten years of fieldwork, wildlife cinematographer John Young has discovered a possible new species, the blue-fronted fig parrot, in the forests of southern Queensland, Australia. It's not certain yet whether this diminutive bird is a full species or a distinctive subspecies of the known double-eyed fig parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma, but Young's discovery is important in any case: important enough that the Queensland government is keeping the location a secret while further expeditions are made. (The name "double-eyed" apparently derives from the brightly colored cheek patches (red for males, yellow for females) on this largely green-feathered bird, although they really don't look like eyes at all.)

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