About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ever wonder how many bird species are in the world?

Cover Art: Larry McQueen
I always say there are about 10,000 species of birds in the world. I say “about” because there are now at least 500 species more recognized than just 10 years ago. Many of these new species have been reclassified after the examination of their DNA, other birds species are just new discoveries.

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.

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