|Cover Art: Larry McQueen|
While some scientists are exploring life on Mars, a team of Cornell University graduates, led by Michael G. Harvey, discovered a new bird in the Peruvian Andes. The small birds were spotted mostly in pairs, exploring the low canopy in search of berries and other snacks. They have black masks, white throats and bright, blood-red markings on top of their heads and spilling down the breast, along with a dusting of pale yellow.
Now named Sira Barbet (Capito fitzpatricki), the new species graces the cover of The Auk, (July 2012). Its scientific name honors John W. Fitzpatrick, a renowned ornithologist who led field expeditions to Peru in the 1970s and 1980s, and whose work helped identify six bird species new to science. He is currently the director of Cornell University'sLaboratory of Ornithology.