Researchers looking in the Central China mountains have discovered a new bird species living in a grassy region. The bird has been dubbed the Sichuan Bush Warbler as reported in the Avian Research journal. It’s official name will be Locustella chengi, after the deceased bird scientist from China, Cheng Tso-hsin.
It took the researchers an adventure lasting 19 years to rediscover this new bird species. Back in May 1992 another team of scientists had heard its strange song, but were unable to find the source. However, there was an official sighting in 2011, and some samples of DNA, feathers, and physical characteristics proved it was indeed a new bird species. It is very elusive and hard to find, according to researchers and it has a habit of hiding in heavy bushy areas.
Unique Song Led Researchers to New Bird Species
The Sichuan Bush Warbler doesn’t look that much different from the other warblers living in Central China, however, what makes this a new bird species to study is its voice. Its very strange song is how the adventure to find this new bird species began, as well as due to the fact that it interacts with its fellow bird species a bit differently than other birds as well.
The Sichuan Bush Warbler has a song that begins with a prolonged, low-pitched sounding buzz. It then follows that part with a short clicking noise, and then it starts over again with the long buzz sound. The coloring of the new bird species is a bit different as well, with the dark grey areas on the breast and sides differentiating it from other warblers in the area.
Bush Warbler is Peaceful New Bird Species
The Sichuan Bush Warbler appears to be a peaceful neighbor, as it lives in the same territory as another kind of warbler, the Russet Bush Warbler. Researchers noticed that the new kinds of birds were able to overlap in their territories with no problems being seen.
The birds were found to make their homes about 3,000 to 7,500 feet up into the mountains in the area of Central China, but it is not known yet where they spend their winters. It was first seen in Emei mountains in the Sichuan province back in 1992 by researcher author Per Alstrom from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. However, at that time they were not sure if it was a bird since its song seemed to sound more like an insect, according to Alstrom.
All in all, this new bird species of the Sichuan Bush Warbler has been a huge adventure that has finally cumulated in this discovery, which is now in the Avian Research journal.