New Bird Species Discovered In Cloud Forest of Eastern Andes

A team of researchers says it has identified a new bird species, a barbet marked by its colorful scarlet breast and black mask, in the eastern Andes of Peru. The bird, which scientists named the Sira barbet (Capito fitzpatricki), was discovered during a 2008 expedition,

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Sira Barbet Cornell University

Cornell University
The Sira barbet
led by recent Cornell University graduates, to a remote ridge in the Cerros del Sira range. Although scientists recognized that the bird was closely related to the scarlet-banded barbet, subsequent genetic tests confirmed that it is a distinct species within the barbet family, distinguishable by the differences in color on its flanks, lower back and thighs, and its dark scarlet breast band. The researchers believe the bird may only be found in a 30-kilometer region of montane cloud forest within the range, located on an outlying ridge of the Andes. The scientific name, Capito fitzpatricki, was selected to honor John W. Fitzpatrick, a former executive director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology who named seven bird species in Peru during the 1970s and 1980s. The bird is described in the July 2012 issue of The Auk, a publication of the American Ornithologists’ Union.