Updated 12 Feb 2019, 1:04am
The second-known sighting of an Asian fairy pitta in Australia has ended "tragically" with the endangered bird overshooting its migration route and hitting a bar window in Broome before being killed by predator, with bird-lovers saying a cat is the likely culprit.
Bruce Greatwich, a conservation coordinator in Broome for the Western Australia Parks and Wildlife Service, said it was a sad end to what had been a pretty rough time for the bird in the north-west West Australian town of Broome.
"It's really symbolic of the threats all of our native species face every day in Australia," Mr Greatwich said.
The colourful Asian bird was found unconscious outside a Broome bar last week.
It was thought to have crashed into one of the bar's windows, temporarily stunning itself.
"The staff there at Matsos, where it had shown up, had just done the right thing and they'd taken it into care and put it in a box," Mr Greatwich said.
The bird was later released by the bar manager and seen feeding in the bar's garden over the next two days.
But two days after it was first sighted, the fairy pitta was found dead with bite marks around its neck.
When Mr Greatwich saw photos of the bird, which the bar staff had posted on Facebook, he realised they had made an extraordinary find.