Mustached Bird Photographed for First Time, Then Killed.
The first ever photographs of the elusive male moustached kingfisher were recently released by the American Museum of Natural History.
They show a vibrant blue adult bird in apparent good health. Paul Sweet, collection manager for the museum’s Department of Ornithology, told Audubon that he and his colleagues assessed the state of the bird’s population and habitat, and concluded it was substantial and healthy enough to withstand the loss.
The suspenseful moments before the bird’s discovery and subsequent death are recorded in a field journal written by Chris Filardi, who is director of Pacific Programs at the museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
He and his colleagues were in the remote moss jungle highlands of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands when they heard a distinctive call: “ko-ko-kokokokokokokokoko-kiew! They paused and scanned the forest. After time passed, “There in plain sight pumping its tail, crest alert, in full colors, was the moustached kingfisher,” Filardi wrote. “And then, like a ghost, it was gone.”
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