Entries in Neophema chrysogaster - Orange-bellied Parrot (49)
THE call usually comes in April. They've been spotted fluttering through King Island, a small squadron heading across the strait. Numbering fewer than 150 worldwide, these little birds are rarer than the Siberian tiger. After their buffeted flight through the winds of the Roaring Forties, they scatter thinly along the mainland coast - as they once did in their thousands.
Some travel east to Gippsland, others gather on the wetlands of Werribee. A dozen or so fly west to the Portland area where Ric Ressom, having taken the alarm-raising phone call, picks up his binoculars and prepares to wander the marshes near the Yambuk wind farm.
A captive breeding program in Tasmania is trying to increase the number of orange-bellied parrots released into the wild as the population falls to just 100.