One ornithologist’s treasure is another man’s dinner. As the American Free Press (AFP) reports, while filming a documentary on traditional bird trapping methods in the Caraballo Mountains of the Philippines, a TV crew unwittingly got footage of Worcester’s buttonquail being captured by natives earlier this year.
Sources say neither the film crew nor the trappers realized that this was the same quail species believed to be extinct for years. The camera therefore followed the trapped bird to a local poultry market, where it was purchased for the equivalent of two dimes and ultimately cooked and eaten.
It wasn’t until Desmond Allen, an eagle-eyed member of the World Bird Club of the Philippines, saw the ironically titled “Bye-Bye Birdie” documentary, and identified the quail.
The club’s president, Mike Lu, told AFP that while he and his organization are “ecstatic that this rarely seen species was photographed by accident,” he is saddened that “the locals do not value the biodiversity around them.” Lu added that much more should be done to raise local awareness about threatened animals in order to save them.