Amazing New Species of Birds Discovered in 2013

Meet the gorgeous and colorful new birds discovered this year: Cambodian Tailorbird, Guerrero Brush Finch, Sierra Madre Ground-Warbler, Junin Tapaculo and Rinjani Scops Owl.

1. Cambodian Tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk):

Cambodian Tailorbird (© Ashish John / WCS)

Cambodian Tailorbird (© Ashish John / WCS)

The Cambodian tailorbird is one of only two bird species found solely in Cambodia.

It is a wren-sized gray bird with a rufous cap and black throat. It lives in dense, humid lowland scrub in Phnom Penh and other sites in the floodplain.

The bird is classified as Near Threatened under the IUCN’s Red List.

2. Guerrero Brush Finch (Arremon kuehnerii):

This painting shows three Arremon brush-finches: top - Arremon brunneinucha brunneinucha, middle – the newly discovered Arremon kuehnerii; bottom - Arremon virenticeps. Image credit: Navarro-Sigüenza AG et al / the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

This painting shows three Arremon brush-finches: top – Arremon brunneinucha brunneinucha, middle – the newly discovered Arremon kuehnerii; bottom – Arremon virenticeps. Image credit: Navarro-Sigüenza AG et al / the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

The Guerrero Brush Finch lives in the cloud forests of the mountain range Sierra Madre del Sur in central Guerrero, Mexico.

The species belongs to Emberizidae, a large family of birds known as buntings in Europe and sparrows in the Americas.

It is a medium-sized finch with chestnut crown, black mask, and green-olive back; white throat separated from white-and-gray belly by black, crescent-shaped collar.

3. Junin Tapaculo (Scytalopus gettyae):

This is an artist’s rendering of the Junin Tapaculo, Scytalopus gettyae (The University of Kansas / KU News Service)

This is an artist’s rendering of the Junin Tapaculo, Scytalopus gettyae (The University of Kansas / KU News Service)

The Junin Tapaculo lives on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Junin Department, Peru.

The bird is uniformly blackish in color and small-to-medium in size, most similar to the Blackish Tapaculo.

It has a unique song that differs strikingly from that of any known Scytalopus species, consisting of a rapidly repeated series of ascending phrases.

4. Rinjani Scops Owl (Otus jolandae):

Rinjani Scops Owls (Otus jolandae), Lombok, Indonesia. Image credit: Sangster G et al.

Rinjani Scops Owls (Otus jolandae), Lombok, Indonesia. Image credit: Sangster G et al.

The Rinjani Scops Owl is known from the island of Lombok, Indonesia.

It has long been confused with the widespread Indonesian owl species Moluccan Scops Owl (Otus magicus) because of its similar plumage.

Its song is a whistled note completely unlike that of other owls.

5. Sierra Madre Ground-Warbler (Robsonius thompsoni):

Sierra Madre Ground-Warbler, Robsonius thompsoni, adult. Image credit: J.-C. Gonzales, via ornithomedia.com.

Sierra Madre Ground-Warbler, Robsonius thompsoni, adult. Image credit: J.-C. Gonzales, via ornithomedia.com.

The ground-warblers are very unique birds. As the name suggests, they’re ground-walking songbirds and it appears that they can barely fly. They tend to inhabit dense forest understory, where they feed on insects. Their song is extremely high in pitch, and ventriloquial – it’s almost impossible to locate the source of the sound in the forest – they always sound like they are far away, even when they are almost at your feet.

The Sierra Madre Ground-Warbler lives on Luzon Island of the Philippine archipelago.