Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New bird species

Ok, so there haven't been any recent discoveries of new bird species in the Garden State...but these two recent additions to the list of known birds is still pretty neat!

Most new species are actually the result of 'splits', when a singular species is separated into two or more distinct taxa thanks (usually) to DNA evidence and vocalizations. This was the case with the Red Crossbill population found in the isolated hills of southern Idaho. Now considered a new species, this group of sedentary Red Crossbills has been reproductively isolated from the rest of it's usually nomadic brethren. Check out the recent article in the Condor: A New Species of the Red Crossbill (Fringillidae: Loxia) From Idaho

Recently a new species was also discovered in southwest Africa. The olive-backed forest robin was given it's scientific name, Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus, by Smithsonian naturalist Brian Schmidt. In Greek, the name literally translates to "stout bird that bears a flame-colored throat". Pretty creative, huh?

Photograph by Carloton Ward, Jr. / Smithsonian Institute (c) 2009

For the full article please visit Naming a New Species. And keep your eyes (and perhaps more importantly your ears) never know who is going to discover the next new species of bird!


Dale Forbes said...

dude, southwest Africa is the old name of a country (Namibia) and the robin was discovered in Gabon (a long way away from Namibia) in central africa.

cool link though. you guys sure did up some interesting articles.
Happy birding

Anonymous said...

Most new species are actually the result of 'splits',
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