In October 2020, two researchers in Borneo stumbled upon a bird they had never seen before. They photographed and released it, then sent the pictures to birdwatching organisations in the area for identification. The bird wasn’t just new to them. Scientists identified it as the black-browed babbler, a bird last documented in Indonesia around 170 years ago and believed to be extinct. It is so rare that the data on the only collected specimen lists it as “presumed extinct.

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Ding Li Yong of BirdLife International and study coauthor said in a press release, “It’s sobering to think that when the black-browed babbler was last seen, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species hadn’t even been published and the now extinct passenger pigeon was still among the world’s commonest birds. Who knows what other riches lie deep within Borneo’s fabled rainforests, especially in the Indonesian part of the island?”

Featured image by: Oman Observer