Rare Warbler Found in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 23 (UPI) — Researchers say they’ve found a thriving flock of one of the world’s least-known birds living in a remote part of war-torn Afghanistan.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, based in the United States, says it is the first time researchers have found a breeding site for the large-billed reed warbler, whose scientific name is Acrocephalus orinus, the BBC reported Saturday.

The U.S. group’s Robert Timmins said the warbler was first noted in 1867 and none had been seen since 2006 when one was captured and released in Thailand. The bird is about 5 inches long and is olive brown on top with a light creamy-colored underside.

“Reed warblers are very good at hiding and they don’t like to be seen,” Timmins told the British broadcaster. “They usually like to skulk in thick vegetation.”

He was reportedly successful in taping a warbler’s songs, which he and colleagues then used to attract other members of the flock.

The BBC said scientists are concerned about the prospects of long-term survival for species.

BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations, reported researchers captured and released almost 20 of the birds this year.

“This is great news from a little-known species from a remote part of the world and suggests that there may be more discoveries to be made here,” said Mike Evans of BirdLife.

The researchers’ initial findings about the birds were reported in the most recent edition of BirdingASIA, the magazine of the Oriental Bird Club.

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Categorized | Birds, Conservation
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