The world’s attention is headed towards the Mandarin duck from New York these days. However, another pretty bird deserves some headlines these days.
The little creature was spotted by a bird watcher in Pennsylvania. The man’s attention was caught by the bird’s colors, a combination of black, yellow and white.
The shades are a mix between two different warbler species, but the singing belongs to a third bird species. This characteristic made the bird watcher wonder, so he asked for Cornell Lab of Ornithology’ advice.
Studies revealed that the bird is a hybrid between three different species
The bird was spotted for the first time by Lowell Burkett, a passionate watcher. He made the discovery this year in May, while he was wondering in Roaring Spring.
He noticed that the bird had combined physical attributes from two different genetically markers and had the artistic abilities of a third DNA sequence. The blue-winged warbler and golden-winged warbler left their physical features on the bird discovered by Burkett. At the same time, the chestnut-sided warbler’s genes influenced the new bird’s chirping.
The birdwatcher suspected that he’s looking at an unusual creature, so he addressed his questions to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. After they analyzed the bird, got some blood samples and ran DNA tests, the specialists confirmed Burkett’s suspicions. The bird is, indeed, a hybrid between the three mentioned species. The study’s results were recently published in Biology Letters, the famous science journal.
Researchers think that the DNA mix happened because the population of golden-winged warblers is decreasing. In this case, females are looking for mates outside their species and genera. They added that the bird needs warmer weather to survive.
Researchers released the warbler in its natural environment and watched until the end of August. Since then, they didn’t see it anymore, so the team assumed that it headed South for the winter.