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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New bird family discovered

A cute, little bird that spends most of its life heard but not seen has recently been named the sole member of a newly recognized group of perching birds. A closer look at the genetic makeup of the Spotted Wren-babbler, which is neither a wren nor babbler, has revealed the bird is the lone species in a genetically distinct group of songbirds.
At first glance, the brown bird looks, behaves, and lives in the same sort of habitat as many other babbler species. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. They are found in undergrowth and dense thickets in the forest, with a preference for thick fern ground cover, mossy rocks and decaying trunks of fallen trees and brushwood (often near stream or creek) long grass and scrub.

But its high-pitched, multi-syllabic song is much different, causing researchers to take a second look. BiologyLetters reported recently that the genetic makeup of the spotted wren-babbler (based on two segments of mitochondrial DNA and five segments of nuclear DNA) is so different from that of other perching birds, it is now placed in its own family and its Latin named is to Elachura formosa.

Related Articles:
- Audio link to Elachura formosa http://figshare.com/articles/Elachura_formosus_song/953148
- Superb Fairy-wren http://goo.gl/7iTmNc
- Eurasian Jay http://goo.gl/TR5HM3
- Why we call a brown bird with an orange belly Robin Redbreasts http://goo.gl/KJi3zm
- The Bald Eagle is the National Symbol of the USA: What are some other Countries' National Birds http://goo.gl/6Ef30Q

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