Sichuan bush warbler: the ‘hermit’ bird of China loves to sing and there goes its hideaway

China has been in the news this week. This time it’s about the rare Sichuan bush warbler, which are considered “bird hermits” since they don’t like to be seen. They like to stay concealed in plant vegetation where they are good at hiding themselves.

These birds have their own unmistakable bird song which easily identifies them from the rest. This usually gives their hiding places away

“The Sichuan bush warbler is exceedingly secretive and difficult to spot as its preferred habitat is dense brush and tea plantations,” Rasmussen noted.

“However, it distinguishes itself thanks to its distinctive song that consists of a low-pitched drawn-out buzz, followed by a shorter click, repeated in series,” she explained.

“While the bird may be elusive, it is common in central China and doesn’t appear to be under any imminent threat,” she said.

The bird’s closest of kin is the Russet bush warbler.

Both birds live in the same mountains. The Sichuan bush warbler however prefers to live in lower altitudes and the cousin likes the higher grounds.

Aside from living in the same habitats, the two birds also share some DNA heritage.

Analyzing their mitochondrial DNA will easily show that the two warblers are close relatives and shared the same forerunners approximately 850, 000 years ago, researchers explained.

Its scientific name is Locustella chengi in honor of the great Chinese ornithologist Cheng Tso-hsin.

The discovery can be found in the journal Avian Research.




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