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Nature & Environment

Scientists capture photographs of 'lost bird' long thought extinct

By T.K. Randall
February 25, 2024 · Comment icon 2 comments
The Yellow-crested Helmetshrike.
One scientist photographed the bird sitting on his hand. Image Credit: Matt Brady / The University of Texas at El Paso
This striking yellow and black bird, which hadn't been seen for 20 years, was rediscovered during an expedition to Africa.
These days we hear so many stories of species disappearing due to climate change or habitat destruction that it makes a nice change to find out that a type of bird once thought lost has been rediscovered in the wild.

Known as the Yellow-crested Helmetshrike, this impressive looking bird was photographed by researchers during a 6-week expedition to the remote mountain range of Itombwe Massif in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

To find it, the team had to trek over 75 miles through the depths of the region's cloud forests.

"It was a mind-blowing experience to come across these birds," said ornithologist Michael Harvey.
"We knew they might be possible here, but I was not prepared for how spectacular and unique they would appear in life."

A total of 18 specimens were observed across three separate sites during the expedition.

"This inspires hope that perhaps the species still has a reasonably healthy population in the remote forests of the region," said Harvey.

"But mining and logging as well as the clearing of forests for agriculture are making inroads deep into the forests of the Itombwe range. We are in discussions with other researchers and conservation organizations to further efforts to protect the region's forests and the helmetshrike."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Guyver 2 months ago
Very cool.  I don’t know how they got that bird to perch on the hand…but that is cool.  Hopefully while they’re out there they can find the mokele mbembe.
Comment icon #2 Posted by esoteric_toad 2 months ago
Yet they cannot find bigfoot the 8 foot tall hominid.

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