SDSU professor helps identify, name new species of bird

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SAN DIEGO — A biology professor at San Diego State University was part of a team of researchers who recently identified and named a new species of bird.

The “Inti Tanager,” native to Peru and Bolivia, was first spotted almost 20 years ago, SDSU said in a news release this week. Biology professor Kevin Burns and a team from Louisiana State University worked to identify the bird and place it in a family tree.

SDSU said Burns’ team included former students, who helped to determine the bird was a new genus and species. The name “Inti,” the Quechua word for Sun, was chosen in recognition of the bird’s bright yellow color.

Some birders have nicknamed the males the “Kill Bill Tanager” after Uma Thurman’s costume in the Quentin Tarantino film because of their bright yellow with a contrasting black stripe on their heads. Males also have salmon-pink bills and a bushy crest while females are primarily yellow with bright orange or pink on their bills, SDSU said.

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