New Venezuelan bird discoveries

Painting of the new spinetail by Robin Restall, from the cover of The AukFrom Birdwatch:

New spinetail from Venezuela

[Saturday 8 August 2009]

A new species of spinetail has been described, found in river island scrub in the lower and middle sections of the main river channel of the Río Orinoco in Venezuela and adjacent Colombia.

Named Río Orinoco Spinetail Synallaxis beverlyae, the species has been overlooked previously because river islands were not examined by earlier expeditions. The species looks most like the widespread Pale-breasted Spinetail, but sounds most similar to Dark-breasted, Cinereous-breasted and Spix’s Spinetails.

Described by Steven Hilty and David Ascanio, the new species appears to be restricted to scrubby river island vegetation and adjacent river edges that are subject to seasonal inundation. It is presently known only from two well-separated areas but is likely to occur on appropriate intervening islands.

Other new species also discovered on the river islands from the lower Orinoco, but yet to be named, include a softtail and a wagtail tyrant still.

See: The Auk Jul 2009, Vol. 126, No. 3: 485–492

The national bird of Venezuela, the Venezuelan troupial is the largest troupial species and was once lumped into a single species with the orange-backed troupial and campo troupial. Today, each bird is recognized as beautiful and distinct: here.

3 thoughts on “New Venezuelan bird discoveries

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