The Cambodian Tailorbird was recently found to be a new species living just outside Phnom Pen. Photo courtesy The Wildlife Conservation Society, via Associated Press.

Did you hear about the new bird species found in Cambodia? The recently discovered Cambodian tailorbird was first documented in a construction site on the city limits of Cambodia’s capitol city, Phnom Pen. This small, red-capped bird is about the size of a wren. It inhabits small territories in lowland floodplains both within and outside Phnom Pen’s city limits.

The reason we find this so exciting at Oregon2020 is because this discovery shows the importance of birding everywhere (not just local hotspots). When we as birders expand our area of observation, who knows what sort of new discoveries we will make? Your local refuge or nature preserve may be great for finding interesting birds, but what about that small park just down the street from your house? Or the stream behind the grocery store? Areas like this are rarely – if ever – surveyed. Nobody knows what species live there. It’s up to you to help us fill in these information gaps!

So, while it is unlikely you will discover a new species, try birding somewhere new for a change. You might be surprised by what you see! For more information on the Cambodian Tailorbird, see this article in the New York Times.

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