Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bizarre Bald Bird Discovered In Asia

Date:
July 31, 2009
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
An odd songbird with a bald head living in a rugged region in Laos has been discovered. Dubbed the "Bare-faced Bulbul" because of the lack of feathers on its face and part of its head, it is the only example of a bald songbird in mainland Asia, according to scientists.

The bare-faced bubul -- the first-known bald songbird discovered in in mainland Asia.
Credit: Iain Woxvold, University of Melbourne

An odd songbird with a bald head living in a rugged region in Laos has been discovered by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Melbourne. Dubbed the "Bare-faced Bulbul" because of the lack of feathers on its face and part of its head, it is the only example of a bald songbird in mainland Asia, according to scientists. It is the first new species of bulbul – a family of about 130 species – described in Asia in over 100 years.

A description of the new species is published in the July issue of the Oriental Bird Club's journal Forktail. Authors include Iain Woxvold of the University of Melbourne, along with Wildlife Conservation Society researchers Will Duckworth and Rob Timmins.

"It's always exciting to discover a new species, but this one is especially unique because it is the only bald songbird in Asia," said Colin Poole, director of Asia programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. "The discovery also underscores how much there is still to learn from wild places around the world."

The thrush-sized bird is greenish-olive with a light-colored breast, a distinctive featherless, pink face with bluish skin around the eye extending to the bill and a narrow line of hair-like feathers down the centre of the crown.

The bird seems to be primarily tree-dwelling and was found in an area of sparse forest on rugged limestone karsts – a little-visited habitat known for unusual wildlife discoveries.

"Its apparent restriction to rather inhospitable habitat helps to explain why such an extraordinary bird with conspicuous habits and a distinctive call has remained unnoticed for so long," said Iain Woxvold of the University of Melbourne.

Fortunately much of the bird's presumed habitat falls within legally protected areas in Laos. However, quarrying of limestone looms as a potential threat to wildlife in this area, along with habitat conversion for agriculture.

The discovery was made as part of a project funded and managed by the mining company MMG (Minerals and Metals Group) that operates the Sepon copper and gold project in the region.

In 2002 in this same area, Rob Timmins of WCS described the kha-nyou, a newly discovered species of rodent so unusual it represented the lone surviving member of an otherwise extinct genus. Three years earlier he described a unique striped rabbit in the region also new to science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. A. Woxvold, J. W. Duckworth and R. J. Timmins. An unusual new bulbul (Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae) from the Limestone karst of Lao PDR. Forktail, July 2009

Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Bizarre Bald Bird Discovered In Asia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729203655.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2009, July 31). Bizarre Bald Bird Discovered In Asia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729203655.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Bizarre Bald Bird Discovered In Asia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729203655.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins