Aug 02 2014

Does the Java Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo Euryzona) really exist?

Female A. peninsulae and Male A. euryzona

Java Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo Euryzona) is a “new” species split of from nominate status to full species status in 2013. This Java endemic kingfisher is firmly bound to rivers in lowland forest which is lost in an alarming rate throughout its range. There is only one sighting known, in 2009, since the thirties, the population …

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Oct 24 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Blue-bearded Helmetcrest

The Blue-bearded Helmet-crest, is one of Nature’s most magnificient creatures. It is a large hummingbird with a long crest and a beard, making it somehow antropomorph. Read the more poetic description written by Sir John Gould himself: “These bearded birds stand quite alone among the Trochilidae and although not remarkable for brilliancy of colour, their …

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Oct 17 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Long-billed Tailorbird (Artisornis moreaui)

Artisornis moreaui occurs at two disjuncted locations a 1000 km apart. It always rare in the forests of the East Usambaras in Tanzania (Artisornis moreaui) and Njesi Plateau in northern Mozambique (subspecies sousae). A. sousae was rediscovered in 2003. In spite of intense surveying the species has not been found in the forests between these …

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Oct 16 2014

Rarest birds of the World: White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis)

This heron has an extremely small and rapidly declining population. The population will further decrease in the next few years. The loss and degradation of lowland forest and wetlands, hunting, egg collecting and disturbance are the mean reasons for this ongoing decline. This is a 127 cm very large, long-necked heron. In fact in the …

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Oct 14 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Great Indian Bustard

This is a 92-122 cm unmistakable, large, brown-and-white bustard with black crown and wing markings. Males have whitish neck and underparts with narrow black breast-band. Females are smaller, with greyer neck and typically no breast-band. Stuart Baker in his game birds of India, 1921 writes the following account. In ‘ Stray Feathers,’ 1881, Mr. F. …

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Aug 19 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Ridgway’s Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi)

This species is considered Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small and fragmented population, which continues to decline. Only effective protection of Los Haitises National Park and captive breeding and release are likely to save this species from extinction. 36-41 cm. Medium-sized, compact hawk. Above brownish grey, tail dark brown, with 3 faint imperfect …

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Aug 16 2014

The Slender-billed Curlew, last seen in the previous century

In 1875 Bree wrote: “In all parts of Italy this species is met with; but while it is only a bird of passage and rather rare in the northern parts, in the central and southern parts it is common, and passes the winter there. In Sicily and in Malta it is the most common species …

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Aug 15 2014

Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the vanished Log-God

Several cases of this species existence in Arkansas and Florida (USA) have been made since 2004, but the evidence is never unchallenged. Extensive surveys have been made in south-eastern Cuba, but the last record remains of 1987. The number of individuals is now very likely tiny. This 50 cm huge black-and-white woodpecker is overall black …

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Aug 11 2014

Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea)

It is incredible what activity this little bird has rendered since, about 8 years ago, for still not fully understood reasons, its popluation had declined to less than a 1000 individuals. In present day it is estimated at only 250 individuals and the population is aging. The crucial countries all working together, the action plans, …

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Aug 11 2014

Rarest birds of the World: Razo Lark (Alauda razae)

The Raso Lark is only found in small numbers on one very small island. This species numbers change with the rainfall, more rain in a year means more fledgelings. An increase in drought on Cape Verde, will add to the likelihood of extinction. Being a ground-nester, the species is at high risk when none native …

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Aug 09 2014

Atlapetes blancae, 8 years later, still not found. Wish or Species?

This newly described species is listed as Critically Endangered because there are no known populations and the last record is from 1971; consequently if it does remain extant it is assumed that any population must be tiny. The species was collected on the Llano de Ovejas, a small plateau at 2,400-2,800 m. This species has …

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