Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Intergrade and a Variant.

This season the nets have provided two unusual, perhaps rare for southeastern Virginia, examples of two bird species. In March the intergrade Northern Flicker pictured above was captured. The Red-shafted Northern Flicker of the west and the Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker of the east interbreed broadly over the central regions of North America. Outside of that area individuals showing mixed traits are known as intergrades. To read more about this example of wandering genes, look at: http://http//www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/nofl.pdf

Last weekend an after-second-year Scarlet Tanager variant was netted. The individual displayed a wing bar of red median coverts. It was the third Scarlet Tanager of 2008 and only the fourth since the station opened in 2005.

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