When Chris Filardi, director of Pacific Programs at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was finally holding the elusive Guadalcanal moustached kingfisher, he told Slate writer Rachel Gross, it was like finding a unicorn.
Filardi had been searching for the orange, white, and brilliant-blue bird for more than 20 years, when on a field study in the high forests of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, he finally heard the “ko-ko-ko-ko-kiew” sound of what he described as the unmistakable call of a large kingfisher.
After days of tracking, he and his colleagues captured a male moustached kingfisher in a mist net.
“When I came upon the netted bird in the cool shadowy light of the forest I gasped aloud, ‘Oh my god, the kingfisher,’ one of the most poorly known birds in the world was there, in front of me, like a creature of myth come to life.” Filardi wrote in a Sept. 23 blog post.
The team snapped the first-ever photos of the remarkably photogenic bird and made the first-ever recordings of a male variety of the species (a female was described back in the 1920s).
Then the team killed it.
In Filardi’s original field-journal post, no indication was made regarding the bird’s demise, but Paul Sweet, collection manager for the department of ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History and one of the researchers on the team, confirmed that the animal was killed.http://news.yahoo.com/scientist-takes-first-ever-photo-rare-bird-then-201207749.html