View Full Version : Meet the Bare-faced Bulbul

The Bigfella
07-29-2009, 08:27 PM
Nah, its not one of the Bilge frequenters, but a newly discovered species of bird...


Despite the ever-spreading imprint of humanity on this small planet, scientists keep discovering new species (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/weekinreview/26angier.html), even among relatively conspicuous classes of vertebrates like mammals and birds. The latest example is the barefaced bulbul, a songbird with a nearly bald head found in a remote region of Laos by biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (http://www.wcs.org) and University of Melbourne. The expedition that discovered the bird was financed by MMG, a copper and gold mining company (http://www.mmgroupltd.com/pages/exploration.aspx) operating in the region (which was just acquired by Chinese investor (http://hrdme.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/chinese-investor-completes-takeover-of-sepon-mine/)).
The new species, found in sparse forest on rugged limestone formations, is described in a paper published in the July issue of the Oriental Bird Club (http://www.orientalbirdclub.org/) journal Forktail. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, this is the first new species of bulbul ó a family of about 130 species Ė- found in Asia in more than a century.
A news release from the society provides a bit more detail:

Fortunately much of the birdís presumed habitat falls within legally protected areas in Laos. However, quarrying of limestone looms as a potential threat to wildlife in this area, along with habitat conversion for agriculture. In 2002 in this same area, Rob Timmins of the Wildlife Conservation Society described the kha-nyou (http://specieslist.com/images/external/NewRodent.jpg), a newly discovered species of rodent so unusual it represented the lone surviving member of an otherwise extinct genus. Three years earlier he described a unique striped rabbit (http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/24/science/new-species-of-striped-rabbit-found-in-southeast-asia.html) in the region also new to science.


The Bigfella
07-29-2009, 09:26 PM
Not exactly cute, is it?

John B
07-29-2009, 09:38 PM
Only its mother would love it. Then again, maybe not...

We've got a family of Tui taken up residence in the area Ian.
Noisy suckers and aggressive with other birds.. fly around like they think they're F 18's or something. They like to fly between the garage and the house ( 8 ft maybe)at about shoulder height and go head height for the gate( which they clear by an inch). Woe betide ye if you're walking there at the same time.. it seems irrelevant to them.

fantastic songs for the most part.

The Bigfella
07-29-2009, 09:47 PM
Yeah, we had local Tui's when we lived at Mellon's Bay. Lovely birds. Bit hairy chested eh?

08-02-2009, 03:05 PM
The bulbul has been seen frequently in the southern parts of Dade County, FL.
It's a pretty and very distinctive bird... i.e., when you see one, you say "hey, what's that?"

The Bigfella
08-02-2009, 07:39 PM
Yeah - we have the red-whiskered bulbul in Oz too... red on the face and bum and with a nice looking crest.... but, they are a feral species here.