During a recent expedition, researchers have managed to conclude that the elusive bird boasting the tendency of hiding among grassy lands in the mountainous terrain of central China actually belongs to a completely new species. They have made this conclusion based on the bird’s distinctive song.
The name of this new bird species is Sichuan Bush Warbler; the world first came to know about this bird from a paper published in Friday’s edition of the widely read science journal Avian Research. The bird’s scientific name is Locustella chengi, a name derived from the name of famous Chinese ornithologist Cheng Tso-hsin.
When it comes to its appearance, the Sichuan Bush Warbler has significant resemblance with another bird species called the Russet Bush Warbler. Here, it must be mentioned that both these birds reside around the same area.
However, there are also some clear differences between the two neighbors. The Sichuan Bush Warbler, a bird species marked by an extremely secretive nature, sounds pretty different from the Russet Bush Warbler. This has been confirmed by Pamela Rasmussen, one of the co-authors of the study.
Rasmussen also informed that the unique song of this newly discovered bird consists of a drawn-out, low-pitched buzz, which is followed by a comparatively shorter click; according to her, the bird keeps on repeating these sounds in the same order. Rasmussen is a biologist representing the Michigan State University.
Rasmussen continued by saying that it’s true that due to the bird’s secretive nature spotting it is extremely difficult, but the mountainous terrain of central China seems to have a pretty thick population of these birds.
The Sichuan Bush Warblers are distinguished visually by slightly noticeable differences observed in the specimens analyzed by the researchers. According to researchers conducting the study, the Sichuan Bush Warblers mostly possess grayer flanks, upper bodies and breasts than the Russets. However, the researchers have also mentioned that this particular difference might not be a constant phenomenon.
Every specimen studied during the said research was male. So, there’s a possibility that the females turn out to be more distinct visually.
The paper indicated that the researchers were not too surprised to come across a new warbler species. This is probably because the russets are known for having a history of taxonomic confusion.