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One-of-a-kind bird families: very cool!

There are some huge bird families comprising hundreds of species each (for example, hummingbirds or tyrant-flycatchers). Within these large families, many species are quite similar to one another in general appearance. At the other end of the diversity spectrum are the monotypic bird families...each family comprised of just one species. These are often of particular interest to many birders because the species in these families are typically so distinctive. As examples, think of Limpkin (warm, wet parts of the Americas) or Emu (Australia) or Kagu (New Caledonia); of Hamerkop (Africa) or Sunbittern (South America) or Shoebill (Africa); and of Oilbird (South America) or Plains-wanderer (Australia) or Secretary-bird (Africa). Each of these species, as well as the others in the 40+ monotypic families (the number depends on what taxonomy you follow!), is highly distinctive, usually not to be mistaken with any other bird.

Our Bhutan tour groups regularly get to see one of the loveliest and most distinctive: Ibidorhynchidae, or the Ibisbill, shown here in a lovely image by participants David & Judy Smith from our 2017 trip. It is one of five monotypic shorebird families, and this species makes its home along rocky rivers in Central Asia, China, and the Indian subcontinent.

We're looking forward to seeing this beautiful bird again on our upcoming Bhutan tour, Apr 7-26, 2018, with Richard Webster and Megan Edwards Crewe, and limited to just 9 participants. There are two spaces still available as of this writing. Contact our office if you'd like to join Richard and Megan for this fabulous tour to the Himalayas and their rich bird life.

Don't forget also to view our 2017 illustrated triplist at the link below. It will give you a great taste of last year's tour.

Bhutan 2017 triplist


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Fascinating cave-dwelling birds


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