The last time someone saw a Spix’s Macaw in the wild was in 2000. They were thought to be extinct in the wild. Then, two weeks ago, a 16-year-old girl in Brazil caught the video footage above of this rare bird. BirdLife International posted the video on its YouTube channel on June 24, 2016 and said on its website:
It was Grandpa Pinpin’s dream: to see his favorite bird, Spix’s Macaw, fly again over the skies of Curaçá, a small town of about 30,000 in the dry Caatinga area of Bahia, Brazil, where goat herding is the main activity.
Pinpin Oliveira passed away last year, aged 94, his wish unfulfilled.
But the baton was passed to his 16-year-old granddaughter, Damilys, who not only saw the macaw … but also managed to film it with her mobile phone.
Damilys and her mother Lourdes Oliveira began searching for the bird in the early morning hours of June 19, after a local farmer said he’d sighted one the day before. After capturing the video, Lourdes contacted the biologists from the Society for the Conservation of Birds in Brazil (SAVE Brasil, BirdLife Partner), one of the organizations that make up Projeto Ararinha na Natureza (Spix’s Macaw in the Wild Project), which aims to bring the bird back from extinction. BirdLife International said:
The video and the distinctive vocal calls killed all doubts: it was indeed a Spix’s Macaw.
Pedro Develey, SAVE Brasil’s Director, commented:
The local people were euphoric.
And, somewhere, Grandpa Pinpin must be smiling, too.
Bottom line: On June 19, 2016, Damilys Oliveira caught this video of the Spix’s Macaw, which had been thought to be extinct in the wild.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.