A tiny bird so rare and unusual that its scientific name means “strange owl” has been spotted for the first time in the wild, scientists announced yesterday.
Conservationists working in Peru got their first natural glimpse of the long-whiskered owlet last month while working in a private mountain reserve.
The species wasn’t even known to exist until 1976, and since then the only known living specimens have been those caught in nets at night.
As few as 250 of the owlets are thought to exist, scientists said, and the birds are as distinctive as they are rare.
With their diminutive size, bright orange eyes, and wild, wispy facial feathers, the dainty birds belong to their own genus, dubbed Xenoglaux, or “strange owl.”
Countdown to the first South American speedmetal band to change their name to Xenoglaux in 5… 4… 3…