KEN SIMPSON 1938-2014

What man would have himself lowered into "the long drop" at Macquarie Island to recover a curious bird? The long drop is a 10-metre latrine used when the water supply to the toilet block becomes frozen. That man was Ken Simpson, one of Australia's most outstanding naturalists and author of the highly acclaimed Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. The year was 1965.

Among Simpson's many responsibilities as a technical officer in the CSIRO was a study of the weka, a small flightless bird introduced from New Zealand by sealers in the 19th century. The population of wekas at Macquarie Island was relatively small, and the one in that deep pit was one of Simpson's prized banded birds and thus important to his study

Read this obituary at the Sydney Morning herald's website.

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