Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rare "smiling" bird photographed in Colombia

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The rare recurve-billed bushbird, recently rediscovered by scientists in Colombia after a 40-year absence, sports a curving beak that gives the illusion of an enigmatic smile.

This photograph, taken by a conservationist with the Colombia-based nonprofit Fundación ProAves, is the first ever taken of a live bushbird.

The elusive species had not been spotted between 1965 and 2004, due to its limited range and remote habitats. It was seen recently in Venezuela and in a region of northeastern Colombia, where it was photographed.

Researchers found the bird in a 250-acre (101-hectare) reserve next to the Torcoroma Holy Sanctuary near the Colombian town of Ocaña, where in 1709 locals claimed they saw the image of the Virgin Mary in a tree root.

Source : National Geographic




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