Ornithology Which birds live in North India

The "greatest mystery of Indonesian ornithology" has been rediscovered

Jakarta - A species of bird last seen in the rainforests of Borneo 172 years ago has been rediscovered. Two men observed the black-browed mouse thrush (Malacocincla perspicillata) in the Indonesian part of Borneo at the end of last year and took photos of it, as bird experts wrote in an article published in BirdingASIA on Thursday. The bird was documented only once in 1848 and has not been tracked since then.

Ornithological puzzle

Ornithologists are therefore delighted that the black-browed mouse thrush still exists and is not extinct. "It was a bit of a 'Eureka!' Moment," said the article's lead author, Panji Gusti Akbar. "This bird is often referred to as 'the greatest mystery in Indonesian ornithology'."

The black-browed mouse thrush was described by the French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1850. His work was based on a specimen that the German geologist and naturalist Carl A.L.M. Swan brought back to East India during his expeditions.

Unclear origin

The exact origin of this type specimen, which is now in the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden (Netherlands), is a mystery. For a long time it had been assumed that the animal came from Java. It was not until 1895 that the Swiss ornithologist Johann B├╝ttikofer pointed out that swans were in Borneo when he discovered the bird.

Little is known about the comparatively inconspicuous bird species with the brown and gray feathers, except that it was considered to have "disappeared" longer than any other Asian bird species. Researchers hope to soon return to the area in the rainforest where the bird was seen. Worldwide, more than 150 species of birds are considered to have "disappeared" because there have been no confirmed sightings in the past ten years. (red, APA, February 26, 2021)