Glimpses of Paradise: The Quest for the Beautiful Parrakeet

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National Library Australia, 2007 - Extinct birds - 259 pages
This book follows the story of the Paradise Parrot, beginning in 1844, when John Gilbert spotted it on the Condamine River in Queensland. Gilbert wrote to his employer John Gould, in London, describing his find as a without exception the most beautiful of the whole tribe I have ever seen in Australiaa . Gould named it the Beautiful Parrakeet. In this highly illustrated book, author Penny Olsen takes us on a journey of discoverya from Gilberta s first observations of the parrot in 1844 to recent claims of sightings and the intrigue surrounding them. The story of the Beautiful Parrakeet combines elements of the history of exploration and settlement of Australia, human exploitation of the rare and unobtainable, a conservation tale, the endless allure of a lost species, and the facts of this singular birda s fate.

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A sacrifice to their ardour
As soberly clad as her mate is gay
A Queenslander
A desirable addition to our aviaries
The whole episode reeks of mystery
from parrot nests to tennis courts
Search for the beautybird of the Burnett
TO The woman of the open ways and the student
T T Crooks counterfeits and contraband
From our travels and fruitless searches
T3 A victim to the power of man
The Paradise Parrot on the NLA website

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Page 242 - Descriptive Catalogue of the Nests and Eggs of Birds found Breeding in Australia and Tasmania

About the author (2007)

Penny Olsen is one of the world 's foremost authorities on raptors, and has contributed several chapters to the "Handbook of Australian New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Vol 2 Raptors to Lapwings" (OUP 1993) and "Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol II "(Lynx Editions 1994). She has worked in the field on various birds of prey for nearly three decades, and published several books, including "Australian Birds of Prey" (UNSW Press 1995), "Feather and Brush: Three Centuries of Australian Bird Art" (CSIRO Publishing 2001) and "Wedge-tailed Eagle" (CSIRO Publishing 2006). Currently she edits "Wingspan", the quarterly membership magazine of Birds Australia, Australia 's national birding organization and oldest conservation organization. In 2004, she was awarded an H.L. White Fellowship at the National Library to research a book on the extinct Paradise Parrot, "Glimpses of Paradise: The Quest for the Beautiful Parrakeet" (National Library of Australia 2007).

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