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Something New Under the Sun

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Well, it's not new, really, just undiscovered until now. I LOVE hearing about "new" bird species, which are species that have been around for hundreds of thousands of years that we're just seeing for the first time. The latest, though, is a real crippler: a new babbler from northeast India, near the border with China.
Ramana Athreya, a professional astronomer and avid birder, first saw the bird at a sanctuary called Eaglenest in 1995. It was to be more than a decade before he saw it again, this past May.
And now, Liocichla bugunorum, the Bugun Liocichla:Isn't that a beauty? What a crippler! Bohemian waxwing, catbird and Kentucky warbler, pureed. This is one of two specimens who were captured, examined, recorded for posterity, and then released!

Here's the best part: No birds were harmed in the making of this discovery. The bird was judged too rare (with 14 known individuals, including three breeding pairs) to take so much as a type specimen, so photographs and feather samples and song recordings will suffice. And, it's named for the Bugun people, also endemic to the region. If you don't think humans are evolving, just consider that. As Birdchick would say, WHOOT! May they find dozens, hundreds more.

For your viewing pleasure, I have rustled up a couple of other Liocichlas from the Net. Here's Steere's Liocichla, a very common endemic on Taiwan:And here's the Red-faced Liocichla from Bengal. Ahhhh. Serve that one on a stick.
It's a good day when a new bird comes into the light. Especially one that beautiful. Don't take my word for it; read more here.

I am so over the dog eviction. So's Baker.


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