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Rare bird seen on mountains in China

Dec. 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM   |   Comments

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Chinese and European researches say they've discovered the breeding ground of an extremely rare bird in the mountains of north-central China.

Fourteen male Blackthroat Luscinia were observed in the Qinling mountains in Shaanxi province, which almost equals the total number of individuals of this species seen since its discovery in the late 19th century, a release from the Swedish Research Council reported Monday.

Nearly all of the birds were on mountain slopes above 7,800 feet in large, dense expanses of bamboo, researchers said.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, about 10 Blackthroats were collected in Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, but since then there have been only a handful of mostly unconfirmed records from Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, they said.

The Blackthroat resembles a European robin in size and general appearance but with a jet black throat and breast in the male.

The female is thought to have a pale brownish throat and breast, although no females definitely attributable to this species have been observed, researchers said.

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