A quick chat with Walter Boles

Walter Boles is the former curator and scientific officer of the ornithology department at the Australian Museum, Sydney. I have known Walter since 1983, when I was placed at the museum by my school for work experience, and we have been friends ever since.

After I finished my 1 week of work experience, Walter encouraged me to return to the museum's bird department as a volunteer during my school and university holidays. I did just that. Actually, I did more than that. Walter sourced some casual funding for me and I stayed at the museum for 20 years (until 2003). I didn't just work for Walter and the bird department though. I worked a large amount of my time in the reptile dapartment, thanks to the great guy who ran it, Ross Sadlier. I also did some work with the mammal department (with Tim Flannery and his great crew), the business services section (doing environmental surveys throughout Australia) and a short stint with the terrstrial ecology section. I got to know some top-class scientists and made some good friends along the way. The museum was also the place where I started writing natural history books.

Anyway, this post is not about me, it is about one of Australia's leading ornithologists and bird taxonimists, Walter Boles. In this video Walter chats with me about his involvement in the re-discovery of the long lost Night Parrot (Australia's most elusive parrot), which had not been recorded for almost 80 years. He also talks about the identification and naming of one of Australia's last new bird species, the Eungella Honeyeater, in 1983, and also gives some insights into Australian bird taxonomy and his illustrious career at the Australian Museum.

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it!

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