Black-Browned Babbler Bird Discovered 170 Years After It Went ‘Extinct’

Everyone is aware of the danger that the environment is in these days. We do our part to protect the environment but we still hear the bad news on a regular basis that one species after another is going on the endangered list or becoming extinct.

Although the news is typically bad, every once in a while, we get to win one as well. That is the case with a little bird named the Black-browned Babbler (Malacocincla perspicillata).

172 years ago, the last of these birds were seen, and eventually, it was put onto the list of animals that went extinct. According to BirdingASIA, however, they were mistaken because they recently discovered a live specimen.

Photo: Global Wildlife Conservation / Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan

According to the Global Wildlife Conservation, the bird was found in Banjarmasin, Indonesia by a couple of local residents. They saw the bird when they were gathering plant material and they didn’t recognize it. They caught the bird, took some pictures, and then released it into the wild.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

Eventually, it was found that those two men, Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan, had actually discovered a bird that was long since thought to be extinct.

Photo: Global Wildlife Conservation / Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan

They probably wouldn’t have thought much about it but they did reach out to BW Galeatus and Birdpacker, some local ornithology experts. It was then that those experts had confirmed it was the Black-browned Babbler.

According to the Oriental Bird Club, Fauzan said: “It feels surreal to know that we have found a species of bird presumed by experts to be extinct. When we found it, we didn’t expect it to be that special at all – we thought it was just another bird that we simply have never seen before.”

It was in the 1840s when the Black-browed Babbler made its first appearance. French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte eventually identified the species but another one would not be found until just recently.

Nobody is really sure how the bird managed to live its life without being seen, but it is obviously very skilled at camouflage.

Photo: Global Wildlife Conservation / Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan

According to Birdpacker, an Indonesian bird conservation group, it was a sensational finding that ended confusion that had lasted over a century about the bird’s origins.

As IFL Science reported, they went on to say: “The discovery also confirms that this species remains extant despite the massive deforestation and habitat conversion in this little-known part of Borneo. There is therefore a very high possibility of it being severely threatened by habitat loss.”

Protect the Planet

Help preserve vital habitat at The Rainforest Site for free!