As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Rare bird egg found at university

An egg of one of the world's most endangered species of bird, dating back almost 100 years, has been discovered at a university.

Details of the surprise find in a collection at the University of Aberdeen's zoology museum in 2008 have just been revealed.

The egg is 2-3cm long and is similar to the size of a small duck's egg, but it took five years to establish the egg's identity, including DNA analysis.

Breeding habits of the south Indian bird called Jerdon's Courser, or Rhinoptilus bitorquatus, are unknown and an egg has never been found by an ornithologist.

Experts hope that the discovery will help conservationists identify the species' egg in their work to save it from extinction.

Dr Alan Knox, the university's emeritus head of museums, said: "I was looking through drawers of uncatalogued eggs in the university's zoology museum when I spotted an egg labelled as belonging to this species.

"It was one of those eureka moments - finding something nobody else knows about, something so rare and exciting. I could hardly believe my eyes.

"My first question was how do you identify something that the books say has never been discovered?

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