Multicolored bird hailed as new species


October 11, 2006

The bright yellow and red-crowned Yariguies brush-finch was found in a remote Colombian cloud forest.

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) -- A multicolored bird with reddish-brown and black eyes has been discovered as a new species in a Colombian cloud forest accessible only by helicopter, scientists say.

The fist-sized yellow and black Yariguies Brush-Finch, topped with an orange plume, was found by a Colombian-English ProAves Foundation team high atop the country's eastern Andean range in Santander province.

Discovery of the bird, named after an Indian tribe that once lived in the nature reserve where it was found, was published in the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club.

Colombia, one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, has about 1,800 species of bird.

"The description of a new bird is a rare event," said expedition member Blanca Huertas of The Natural History Museum in London. "However, this is just the first of several new species that we will be describing from the Yariguies mountains, including several new butterflies."

Legend has it that the Yariguies tribe committed mass suicide to avoid enslavement by Spanish conquistadors.