Photo of rare parakeet wins award

Holding up her award-winning photo of a Forbes' parakeet taken in the Chatham Island is Hazel...
Holding up her award-winning photo of a Forbes' parakeet taken in the Chatham Island is Hazel Gibson outside the museum yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Everyone can relate to the desire for a cheeky wee snack.

Perhaps that is why a rare photograph of an even rarer parakeet enjoying a small meal was chosen as the top shot in the Otago Museum Photography Awards this year.

The People’s Choice Award was won by Hazel Gibson, who was volunteering in the Chatham Islands last November when she took the photograph.

Ms Gibson said she was working on the black robin census, which involved her staying at Mangere Island for a few weeks.

She had little experience with photography, but took her mother’s camera with her to help record the trip.

She happened across the bird one day and took the shot on the spur of the moment.

She never expected the photograph to be any good, let alone an award-winning shot.

"I don’t know anything about photography."

When going through her photos she realised how good it was.

Ms Gibson identified the bird as a Forbes’ parakeet, a rare bird endemic to the Chatham Islands.

She loved how cheeky the birds looked and enjoyed having them around during her stay.

She had always enjoyed nature and had recently accepted a job working for the Department of Conservation, where she hoped to spend more time among birds like that.

She won a canvas print of her photo as her prize, which she said was fortunate as her mother kept telling her to get it printed.

"I really love that picture."

Otago Museum digital marketing co-ordinator Max Levitt-Campbell said there were 3288 entrees across five catagories, all of which were eligible for the People’s Choice Award.



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