(FOX News) - A new species of forest thrush has been discovered in a remote region of northeastern India, making it only the fourth new bird discovered in the country since independence in 1947.
The bird, called the Himalayan forest thrush Zoothera salimalii, is similar in appearance to the raspy singing plain-backed thrush Zoothera mollissima. But the Himalayan thrush’s melodic song and its penchant to favor dense coniferous forests with good undergrowth suggested it could be a new species.
“It was an exciting moment when the penny dropped, and we realized that the two different song types from plain-backed thrushes that we first heard in northeast India in 2009, and which were associated with different habitats at different elevations, were given by two different species,” said Per Alström, who is from Uppsala University in Sweden and was part of the team that discovered the bird.
“At first we had no idea how or whether they differed morphologically. We were stunned to find that specimens in museums for over 150 years from the same parts of the Himalayas could readily be divided into two groups based on measurements and plumage,” Rasmussen said.