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Dear Parrots magazine,

I read David Ransom’s article about the Norfolk Island Parakeet, Parrots magazine 269, June 2020, with interest and it brought back fond memories for me. I have visited Norfolk Island, in the south pacific, three times. On my second visit in 1996 I stayed at a small guest house called Highland Lodge. It was situated on the fringes of the Norfolk Island National Park. There were no keys to the bedroom doors and the small bar was in the kitchen and you just signed for what you consumed.

When I was there I was told about the Norfolk Island parakeet and how endangered it was. I was told that the parakeet was being bred in captivity and the offspring of this breeding programme would be released back into the wild from time to time. I cannot recall how many birds were actually in the breeding programme, but there were not too many and the Norfolk Island Parakeet was still an endangered species and very rarely seen in the wild at the time.

Highland Lodge, being on the fringes of the National Park, had lush vegetation close up alongside the house. One morning, whilst I was shaving, I happened to look out of the open bathroom window and lo and behold there was a green parakeet sitting on a branch of a tree. It then flew off after I approached for a closer look. I was told that I had been very fortunate to see one, so I was very pleased to read in your article that their numbers had increased significantly and that the breeding programme seemed to have been a success.

Captain Jeff Thomas, by email




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