Deignan's Babbler (Stachyris rodolphei) is one of the most mysterious birds in Thailand and the world. Even today, its existence is still questionable. It was first described by H. G. Deignan in 1939. Three individuals were collected from Doi Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai province, the only known distribution of this species. The 3 specimens collected show a slightly but noticeably darker plumage than the widespread Rufous-fronted Babbler (Stachyridopsis rufifrons). Deignan later published an article proposing for a new species. Recently, the species has been widely regarded as a variation or aberrant individuals of the Rufous-fronted Babbler. However, in the latest checklist of birds of Thailand, the species is still retained as a full species. It is noted that further research should be carried out to prove whether it should still be considered as a full species or not.
I decided to make this painting showing a Deignan's Babbler (the one on the left) with 2 Rufous-fronted Babblers among the beautiful Parrot Flowers (Impatiens psittacina), which is an endemic species found only at Doi Chiang Dao, same as the Deinan's Babbler. It might be difficult to tell the difference of the Deignan's from the Rufous-fronted from these pictures that I took by my camera, but I'll later scan the painting when I finish it and I think you'll see the difference much clearer. Deignan's Babbler is described as having darker and duller rufous crown, pure grey eye ring and eyebrows, greyer throat and darker overall plumage. I'll continue with the painting later tomorrow and will show you once again when it it done.