Two new species of birds called tapaculos have been identified in the mountains of Colombia, a conservation group said Tuesday.
WASHINGTON Two new species of birds called tapaculos have been identified in the mountains of Colombia, a conservation group said Tuesday.
The shy, dark-colored birds, which live in thick forest, are mostly identified by their songs and it was their calls that distinguished the two new species, BirdLife International said.
Political instability made it difficult to visit the areas where the birds are found, said Paul Salaman of Bogota-based Fundacion ProAves, who helped discover one of the new species.
He said experts had suspected the existence of the tiny bird, named the Upper Magdalena Tapaculo or Scytalopus rodriguezi, since the 1980s.
"It was frustrating, waiting for years, knowing there were new species to be discovered and protected," Salaman said in a statement.
"Then we learned it was safe to visit the Finca Merenberg Mountains and soon found the new species in dense understory of primary forest. In appearance it's very like other Scytalopus tapaculos, but has a distinctive voice."
The other new species is called Stiles' Tapaculo, or Scytalopus stilesi.
Niels Krabbe of the Zoological Museum at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and colleagues first suspected this bird was a new species when listening to recordings of their songs.
"Stiles' Tapaculo's song is considerably faster and lower-pitched than that of the closely related Ecuadorian Tapaculo S. robbinsi," BirdLife International said in a statement.
It is genetically distinct and is found throughout a 185-mile stretch of the Cordillera Central Mountains.