Recently by Mark Daffey:

“We will be very lucky to see the Olive White-eye on the island,” says Diane Laboucherie, my 25-year-old eco-tour guide on Île aux Aigrettes. Though there are only six of the sparrow-sized birds, ranking them as the rarest species on the nature reserve that lies a half a mile off Mauritius’ coastal mainland near Mahebourg, we spot a pair almost immediately.

Flittering from branch to branch, it turns out that they are creatures of habit, and finding them in this spot was no fluke. Minutes earlier, Laboucherie had slipped into the warden’s quarters housing the island’s nine resident biologists and botanists, asking them where we would be most likely to find them. “Just out the front door,” must have been the reply.

A little later, Laboucherie pauses mid-stride and gazes into the stunted bushes lining a cleared path through the middle of the island. With scant soil covering, there’s little… More…