A group of researchers have made an amazing discovery finding a new bird species with a very unique voice melody in China.
Known as the Sichuan bush warbler, the new bird species has avoided discovery by scientists by hiding in the grasslands and bushes around its habitat. Nonetheless, the scientists managed to catch some of it due to the unique melody emanating from its throat. Pamela Rasmussen, a researcher and professor at Michigan State University stated that, based on media reports the Sichuan bush warbler is a very mysterious bird and is very hard to find due to its excellent hiding ability.
The researchers heard a very bizarre tune while they were on the trail, which began from a low-pitched hum and then followed by a short beat repeated in succession.
The bird is actually considered ordinary in central China, it’s not even threatened nor is it facing any extinction. But its environment is making it hard to spot them; they don’t like to display themselves to the public. It the closest cousin to the Russen bush warbler.
The two warblers can be spotted on the same mountains, but the Sichuan bush warbler prefers to live in lower altitudes. Genetics play a very important role on the similarities of the two species. DNA analysis shows that the species may have had the same ancestors just 850,000 years ago.
The scientific name Locustella chengi was granted to the bird, in honor of the late Chinese ornithologist Cheng Tso-hsin.
Cheng Tso-hsin is known as one of China’s greatest ornithologists. He was considered the founding father of the Peking Natural History Museum and has written 140 scientific papers and authored 30 books. He was renowned globally for his knowledge on birds. Rasmussen, from Michigan State University was pleased that despite having many species named after European explorers and kings, the bird was named after an Asian scientist.
It was an international group that discovered the bird including some scientists from the United States and China. There were also ornithologists from Sweden, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom assisting with the excursion.
The discoveries were published in the Journal Aviation Research.
The Sichuan bush warbler breeds at an elevation of 7,500. The bird’s signature tune was recorded and was published on MSU’s Avian Vocalizations Center website, which has a list of thousands of bird songs; you can also listen to the Russet bush warbler’s song and compare the two.
A bush warbler is a small group of insectivorous songbirds that are a member the genera Cettia and Bradypterus and was previously part of the Old World warbler family. Cettia, or cettiid bush-warblers belong to a family associated to long-tailed tits, and Bradypterus, or megalurid bush-warblers are a grass-warbler family that are analogous to a wren-like family of warblers.
Its family, Locustellidae, is a newly established of small songbirds that includes grass warblers, grassbirds, and bush warblers that are primarily situated in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian regions. The group is depicted by long and pointed tails, the scientific name of the genus, Megalurus, means long-tailed one. They are likely to be a drab brown color and are bigger and thinner bold dark stripes on their wings, naturally living in a scrubland and hunting food by leaping around jumbled growth or pursuing it on the ground.