Cornell Announces New Bird Species in Peru
by Nate Swick
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology yesterday officially announced the discovery of a new species of barbet found by a group of former Cornell students on an expidition in the highlands of Peru. The species, dubbed Sira Barbet (photograph at left by Michael G. Harvey) and named Capito fitzpatricki after CLO's director, was formally described in the July 2012 issue of the ornithology journal, The Auk.
The fantastic story of its discovery can be found on Cornell's All About Birds site.
More from Round Robin:
The new species was discovered during a 2008 expedition led by Michael G. Harvey, Glenn Seeholzer, and Ben Winger, young ornithologists who had recently graduated from Cornell at the time. They were accompanied by coauthor Daniel Cáceres, a graduate of the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín in Arequipa, Peru, and local Ashéninka guides.
The team discovered the barbet on a ridge of montane cloud forest in the Cerros del Sira range in the eastern Andes. Steep ridges and deep river gorges in the Andes produce many isolated habitats and microclimates that give rise to unique species.
Mike Harvey was first to see the new species on October 8, 2008. “It was sitting about 60 feet up on a bare branch,” he said. “At first we thought it was the Scarlet-banded Barbet (Capito wallacei), but the more we looked at it, the more we saw obvious differences in its plumage.”
Congratulations are in order for all involved. Head over to Round Robin for more information.