Friday, September 15, 2006

'New rare bird' spotted in India

A new species of bird has been discovered in the north-east of India, according to an ornithological journal.

Indian Birds said the rare species has been named Bugun Liocichla - only 14 of these birds are known to exist.

The bird has olive plumage with a distinctive black cap and red, black and white patches on its wings.

The journal said that the small bird had been first spotted by an Indian astronomer more than 10 years ago in Arunachal Pradesh state.

But it was not until May this year that astronomer Ramana Athreya managed to find it again in the Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary in the state and confirm the discovery of a new species.

Ornithologists say the bird's closest relative appears to be another rare Liocichla species found in only a few mountains in central China.

Liocichla are members of the diverse bird family known as babblers.

In June, a quail believed to have been extinct for nearly 80 years was rediscovered by a prominent ornithologist in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.

The grey-and-black streaked quail was spotted by wildlife specialist Anwaruddin Choudhury in Assam's Manas national park.

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