This is an image of the only known specimen of the super-rare male turquoise cotinga (Cotinga ridgwayi) ever to have been caught, banded, and released.
The bird was caught in a mist net erected by ornithologist Cagan Sekercioglu, who specialises in assessing bird populations in Costa Rica.
Interestingly, the mist net in question was strung over a coffee plantation. In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Sekercioglu and colleagues report that the diversity of bird species found in the plantations is almost as rich as that found in nearby forests.
“These plantations get spillover species from the nearby intact rainforest,” Sekercioglu says. “That adds to the richness.”
Despite the unexpected good news, the scientists warn that overall many bird species in Costa Rica are in decline – and that, ultimately, there is no substitute for proper forest habitats.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.