Researchers have discovered Asia's first bald songbird. The bare-faced bulbul (Pycnonotus hualon) makes its home in Laos and is the first one of its family (bulbul) to be discovered in Asia in more than a century. The new species was reported yesterday online and will appear in the U.K.-based Oriental Bird Club's journal, Forktail, next month. The bare-faced bulbul is about the size of a thrush and lives in trees near limestone outcroppings.

"Its apparent restriction to rather inhospitable habitat helps to explain why such an extraordinary bird with conspicuous habits and a distinctive call has remained unnoticed for so long," co-author of the paper Iain Woxvold, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a prepared statement.

Despite its name, the bird isn't entirely bald. The reporting authors describe a small line of fine feathers that run down the middle of its face.