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New bird species, Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), found in Phnom Penh

The flame-headed bird was first spotted in 2009 during routine checks for avian flu.
cambodia bikeEnlarge
A Cambodian man (R) rides his motorbike loaded with vegetables along a street in Phnom Penh on February 18, 2013. (TANG CHHIN SOTHY /AFP/Getty Images)

A new species of bird has been found in Cambodia.

The flame-headed Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk) was first spotted in the country's capital, Phnom Penh, during routine checks for avian flu in 2009, according to the BBC.

Scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society found the Cambodian tailorbird in humid lowland scrub in and around Phnom Penh, the society said in a statement.

Tailorbirds are warblers and get their name from their meticulous preparation of nests.

Testing of the bird's plumage, songs and genes has shown that O. chaktomuk is, in fact, a separate, new species.

The society said that the new tailorbird — about the size of a wren — was gray with a brownish-red cap and black throat.

It is one of only two bird species unique to Cambodia, joining the Cambodian laughing thrush, which is found only in the remote Cardamom mountain range.

The find was detailed in a study published in the Oriental Bird Club journal, Forktail.

The bird's discovery surprised some experts. The BBC quoted study co-author Simon Mahood of the Wildlife Conservation Society:

"The modern discovery of an un-described bird species within the limits of a large populous city — not to mention 30 minutes from my home — is extraordinary."

Oriental Bird Club council member Richard Thomas, meantime, said that he "went and saw this remarkable new tailorbird myself — in the middle of a road construction site!"

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/bird-species-cambodia-tailorbird-orthotomus-chaktomuk-Wildlife-Conservation-Oriental