Bird That Was Once Extinct Found In Indonesian Forest After 170 years

By Anthony K

Nature always has hidden mysteries. Even after the many explorations that man has done throughout the years, it still has some secrets, which often surprises us. In one such pleasant amazement, a bird which for over a century and a half was feared extinct has been rediscovered. The bird, a Black-browed Babbler, was seen, for the initial time in more than 170 years, in a rain forest in Borneo, Indonesia.

Image Courtesy of The Straits Times

The bird was only previously documented once in 1848, and scientists feared the bird to have been long extinct. However, two local men discovered the bird in Borneo’s rain forest. This discovery surprised conservationists. The two men Muhammad Rizky Fauzan and Muhammad Suranto saw a bird they weren’t familiar with and took a pic of it which they later released. The photo landed to birdwatching groups, and this was when the two appreciated their discovery.

Image Courtesy of Earth.Org

Ornithologists would then compare this bird to the only previously known such specimen which they had preserved. To their pleasant amazement, the bird matched their preserved specimen. The discovery was published in the journal BirdingASIA. The lead author, Panji Gusti Akbar, described it as a Eureka moment, adding that the bird is often referred to as the largest paradox in Indonesian ornithology. “It’s Astonishing to contemplate that the bird isn’t extinct and still exists in the lowland forests.” Adds Panji Gusti Akbar.

The paper published in the journal states that there’s little recognized about the bird with grey and brown feather missing for the most extended period than any known Asian bird. Scholars had planned to return to the area of discovery. However, the restrictions due to Covid-19 slowed their effort.