24 Jan 2010

Rare bird found in Afghanistan

1:00 pm on 24 January 2010

The US Wildlife Conservation Society has discovered a breeding site in a remote part of Afghanistan for a little-known bird species, the large-billed reed warbler.

The tiny brown bird first spotted in 1867, but has not been seen since 2006. The BBC reports little is known about the birds.

Scientist Robert Timmins says one of the reasons is that they are a very private species, which is often mistaken for other types of warblers.

He says reed warblers are very good at hiding. Usually they are in thick vegetation.

Mr Timmins taped the rhythmic song of these reed warblers and the recording was used to entice other members of the colony from their hiding places.

DNA analysis has confirmed this was a distinct breeding population of the large-billed variety.