Burmese Shrike pushes Bhutan’s bird species record to 693

The Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) set a new record for the number of bird species found in Bhutan, all thanks to the long-term bird monitoring program through mist-netting exercise.

The mist-netting team, Sherub, Ugyen Tenzin and Karma Wangdi, have confirmed the finding of a new bird species, Burmese Shrike (Lanius coluri oides) , and taking the bird species record to 693.

The Burmese Shrike was caught in the “Scrub I’ net line yesterday at 8 am. The bird weighs about 26.2g with wing span of 8.6cm, tarsus measuring 2.8cm and tail of 9.3cm length. A few of the distinctive features of the bird are its dark chestnut mantle, white tail sides and chestnut rump.

“An insectivorous bird shrike has come back from their winter grounds in the altitudes. Capturing of the Burmese Shrike at this elevation is the highest on record, and on the western most in its distributional limits,” the team said.

Mist-netting program aims to learn and document about the bird diversity change with season, bird community and composition, breeding biology and age structure.

Through the program, the team recorded the body mass and morphometric data of every


captured birds and UWICE has maintained the database. For the activity to out-reached program for bird education, the team also asked school-going children to help.

The mist-netting exercise at the institute started on August 22, 2013. Bird enthusiasts carry out this exercise every day from 6:00am – 9:30am.

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