Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Want to see a "smiling" bird?

From American Bird Conservancy:
Wildlife researchers have photographed two rare bird species, the Recurve-billed Bushbird and the Perija Parakeet for the first time in the wild. The Recurve-billed Bushbird was photographed in Norte de Santander, Colombia by Adriana Tovar and Luis Eduardo Uruena of Fundación ProAves, American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC) Colombian conservation partner.

The species remained undetected between 1965 and 2004 due to its small range and the remoteness of its habitats, until it was rediscovered recently in Venezuela and in a region of northeastern Colombia where this photo was taken.

During an expedition into this little explored region, Thomas Donegan and Blanca Huertas of ProAves discovered a relict forest around a holy sanctuary near the city of Ocaña. In 1709, the image of the Virgin Mary was seen in a tree root that had been cut down.

The event was declared a miracle by the Vatican. A small area of forest known as the Torcoroma Holy Sanctuary has been protected by Church authorities ever since and a beautiful chapel which still houses the divine image was constructed on the site.

The surviving humid forest patch is dominated by bamboo and supports a treasure chest of threatened and little-known species. The site was declared an Important Bird Area in 2005, leading to visits by ornithologists and birdwatchers. Oscar Laverde from Colombia’s National University discovered a population of the endangered Recurve-billed Bushbird there that year.

In late 2006, ProAves established the 250-acre Hormiguero de Torcoroma Bird Reserve adjacent to the Torcoroma Holy Sanctuary to protect the Recurve-billed Bushbird and other endemics.



Blogger Steve said...

The Recurve-billed Bushbird has been photographed before - see http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=89957&highlight=bushbird. Dave.

July 31, 2007 11:54 AM  

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