Researchers have discovered an unusual bird species in Pennsylvania. The bird is the offspring of a hybrid wobbler and a warbler of a completely different genus. The combination resulted in a three-species hybrid bird that has not previously been detected.
"It's extremely rare," said lead author David Toews of Cornell University. "The female is a Golden-Winged / Blue-Winged Warbler hybrid – also called Brewster Warbler. Then she mated with a chestnut warbler and successfully reproduced her. "
A hybrid species forms when two different species combine to create a hybrid population. While hybridizations are common in golden-wing and blue-winged warblers, crossbreeding between these species and chestnut seal herds is extremely rare. In fact, we never know.
In May 2018, a dedicated Pennsylvania bird watcher noticed a peculiarity of the unique hybrid bird. He found a male bird that drifted like a chestnut singer. Surprisingly, it also had some of the physical characteristics of Blauflügel and Goldflügel warblers. The bird was so different that he immediately knew that he belonged to no known species. Lowell Burket contacted researchers at Cornell to confirm his suspicions.
"I was trying to make the email sound a bit intellectual so they would not think I was a nutcase," Burket said. "The photos and the video helped, and within a week researcher David Toews came down to find the bird and collect a blood sample and measurements, it was a very interesting and exciting morning for us, and a few days later I received a text message from Dave: "You were right !!!"
Genetic analysis revealed that the breeding of two different parent species resulted in this all-new triple hybrids forest singer line.
"We looked at the genes coding for different Warbler colors," Toews said. "That way, we could see what the mother of the hybrid looked like – the equivalent of a poultry from a detective's poultry made from genes – we confirmed that the mother looked like a Brewster warbler and the father a chestnut -sided Warbler was. "
This type of unique hybridization is likely caused by a decline in the Warbler population. For example, the gold singer is overly hunted. The species was proposed for inclusion in the Act on Endangered Species. Due to their decline, these birds have a limited choice.
"That this hybridization within a population of golden-headed warblers took place in a significant decline suggests that women could make the most of a bad situation," Toews said. "It also tells us that lumberjacks are generally genetically compatible long after they have developed big differences in appearance."