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  New bird spotted in Philippines
Updated 17 August 2004, 11.18
The Calayan rail        Picture: Des Allen
A bird which scientists didn't know existed has been discovered on an island in the northern Philippines.

The creature is a member of the rail family, which includes coots and moorhens. It's been named the Calayan rail after its native island.

The bird was discovered by a member of a team of scientists when she was walking in a forest on the island.

The birds are very striking - they are dark brown, but have distinctive orange-red bills and legs.

The scientists think the birds, which don't fly much because they're too heavy, number about 200 pairs at most.

The team were on the island as part of an study into local wildlife.

Danger

The birds aren't thought to be in danger of dying out but there are concerns that building roads and villages in the area could threaten their numbers.

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