Black-browed Babbler emerges after 170 years

JAKARTA (AFP) – A bird last seen more than 170 years ago in the rainforests of Borneo has been rediscovered, amazing conservationists who have long assumed it was extinct.

The Black-browed Babbler has only ever been documented once – when it was first described by scientists around 1848 – eluding all subsequent efforts to find it.

But late last year, two men in Indonesian Borneo saw a bird they didn’t recognise and snapped photos of it before releasing the palm-sized creature back into the forest, according to Global Wildlife Conservation.

Ornithologists were astounded to find that the Black-browed Babbler was alive and well, despite not having been seen since before Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

Little is known about the creature with brown and grey feathers, which has been ‘missing’ longer than any other Asian bird. PHOTO: BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL