Friday, August 21, 2009

Have You Seen These Birds?

BirdLife International is launching a quest to find 47 "lost" bird species, some of which haven't been seen for 184 years. Marco Lambertini, BirdLife International's chief executive, says

History has shown us that we shouldn't give up on species that are feared to have gone to their graves because some, such as the Cebu flowerpecker, have been rediscovered long after they were feared extinct, providing hope for the continued survival of other ‘long-lost' species.

Who is on the list? Everything from a petrel (Jamaican) to a duck (Pink-headed), a woodpecker (Ivory-billed) to a quail (Himalayan), a seedeater (Hooded) to a curlew (Slender-billed).

Can you pick out which is the Slender-billed Curlew?
Image from

See more of the species, and the Cebu Flowerpecker (emblem of the program), on the BBC's web site, and read the full story at BirdLife International. Then grab your camera and go birding!



slybird said...

Wow - it wasn't until I saw the image of the curlew on BBC that I understood why Slender-billed was the name.

Nate said...

I had read a Steve Howell article in Alula some time ago that suggested that Jamaican Petrel was potentially just a dark phase of Black-capped Petrel, which historically nested all over the Greater Antilles, based on the fact that there used to be a legitimate population of dark phase BC Petrels somewhere on Hispanola that's now extinct.

That's nearly impossible to know now though. I think you could count the Jamaica Petrel museum specimens on one hand. Plus it's from memory so I could be making this stuff up.

slybird said...

Nate: I imagine that'd be pretty easy to test with mtDNA from a toepad from one of the Jamaican Petrel specimens. Has anyone done so?

Nate said...

@Nick - Not that I know of, but my knowledge is limited to my faint memory of the paper I read over a year ago.

But it seems like a good idea if it hasn't been done.

Jochen said...

I suppose the one in the middle is the Slender-billed but if we use this plate to find it, there will be records all over the world whereever there is at least one species of native curlew.

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