On his first day in St. Lucia, Paul Butler hiked to the edge of the forest at the island’s northern end, in search of the bird that had brought him there. The brilliantly colorful, endemic St. Lucia parrot, a species at the edge of extinction, drew Butler from his native England, to count the island’s remaining parrots and learn more about the species’ shrinking numbers. By 1977, the St. Lucia parrot had become a rare sight, even for the island locals. Studying the trees through dusk for the parrot’s lime feathers, cherry red chest and brightly burning amber eyes, Butler looked up to finally spot a single St. Lucia parrot cut a clear form against the darkening sky.
However brief, that first sighting lingered with Butler, who would one day be known island-wide as the Parrot Man — the young Englishman who helped save the St. Lucia parrot from extinction.