It is always wonderful to find something beautiful that we thing we have destroyed still lives!
Reader Lou Jost told me that a very rare hummingbird, the Blue-Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon cyanolaemus), thought to be extinct since 1946, has just been rediscovered in its very restricted habitat—the páramo in the Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia. It’s a beautiful creature, and the authors who discovered and described the finding (reference below, no link), took the first ever picture of this bird alive (all other photos are apparently of dead specimens).
According to Wikipedia, the bird is known from only 62 museum specimens and was last seen alive 69 years ago; but I noted that the entry has been quickly updated to reflect the rediscovery (despite Greg’s beefing, Wikipedia is good for some things!):
Surveys during 1999-2003 failed to detect the species. A brief survey in February 2007 and December 2011 failed to detect the species but survey efforts have not yet been sufficient to list this species as…
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