Singing bird species discovered in northeast


A new species of bird with soothing tone was discovered by a team of international scientists. This is a new species of bird, observed in northeastern India and the adjacent part of China. It is first discovery in a decade and fourth since 1949.

Scientists named the bird as Himalayan forest thrush Zoothera salimalii. The scientific name honors the great Indian ornithologist, Salim Ali, in recognition of his contributions to the development of Indian ornithology and nature conservation.

In 2009 the discovery of Himalayan forest thrush started because, it was realized that what was considered a single species, the plain-backed thrush the plain-backed thrush Zoothera mollissima, was, in fact, two different species in northeastern India, said Pamela Rasmussen of Michigan State University.

During fieldwork in the mountains, researchers noticed that thrushes in the forests sang much more musically than those on the rocky peaks. They then discovered physical and genetic differences as well and have now declared the known “plain-backed thrush” to be two distinct species.

Bengaluru-based Shashank Gupta of National Centre of Biological Sciences was also part of the research team.

Besides, all these keen observation scientists had to a lot of sleuthing with museum specimens.

The song of the Sichuan forest thrush was found to be even more musical than the song of the Himalayan forest thrush.

DNA analyses suggested that these three species have been genetically separated for several million years.

Several countries have investigated and revealed that there is a difference in plumage and structure between birds that could be assigned to either of these two species.

The scientists used to call this species as Sichuan forest thrush but it was treated as a subspecies of plain-backed thrush.(IANS)(