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 31 2014

Rarest birds of the World: the Flores Hawk-Eagle

This species has an extremely small population that is undergoing a continuing and very rapid decline as a result of habitat clearance, and as a consequence it is listed as Critically Endangered. The Flores Hawk-eagle, Nisaetus floris (formerly Spizaetus floris), is a fairly large, up to 75-79 cm long, raptor in the family Accipitridae. Adults …

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Oct 29 2014

Rarest birds of the World: chatham Island Shag (Phalacrocorax onslowi)

This species occupies a very area on the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. The past 10 years, surveys indicate that the species is in decline. In 2011 the population was estimated to be about 1000 individuals. The breeding colonies suffered much from agricultural activities and feral mammals. These colonial ground breeding species trample their eggs while …

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Oct 28 2014

Rarest birds of the World: The Himalayan Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa)

An interesting writing by Rajiv Kalsi, Rahul Kaul and S Sathyakumar. It was published as part of the ongoing study of Pheasants and allies in India. In my opinion the most complete paper-based search review for the elusive Himalayan Quail. I asked for permission by mail to publish on PoB, but have yet to receive …

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Oct 27 2014

Rarest birds in the World: the Pink-headed Duck

This species has not been seen in the wild, other than some unverified observations, since 1949. Already in the 19th century it was mentioned as rare. It is now considered at the brink of extinction or already extinct because of hunting and habitat loss. In the past decennium it has been much sought after, f.e. …

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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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