Bird Word: Hybridisation

  • Hybridisation: the cross-breeding between different species.

Most species stay true to their kind. King Parrots breed with King Parrots and produce young King Parrots. Occasionally, one species will interbreed with another species. In some parts of Australia the introduced species of duck, the Mallards, will hybridise with the native Pacific Black Duck. The offspring show characteristics of both species. These offspring may also breed, though success rates tend to be poor (citation).

For more about hybrid species of animals and plants click here.

UPDATE: One of my regular readers and frequent commenters has added some interesting observations of bird hybridisations in the comments section. I have copied and pasted this below. I inviteyou to add your observations in the comments section.

When we used to live in northern NSW, we had a malaysian lady in town who like to try to FORCE hybridization of various Australian Parrots. One day, we thought we had a new bird for our garden list, but the closest we could put it to was a Superb Parrot, though it wasn’t ‘right’ and we were out of range. Eventually, we heard that one of Connie’s “creations” had escaped – a hybrid between a Mallee Ringneck and a Pale-headed Rosella! It didn’t stay long, but whether through misadventure or ‘travel’ I’m not sure. The neighbours also had a Galah in a cage, to which lots of local Galahs got attracted, including one which had paired with a Little Corella. For about 20 years, they brought their offspring (like pale, washed out Galahs, with a yellow ‘wash’) to feed on spilled seed each year, but none ever lasted more than a season. One day, we saw a dead Corella by the highway, and this ‘pair’ never returned, so it must have been that one.

Thanks to John for these observations.

 

2 Responses to “Bird Word: Hybridisation”

  1. John Tongue says:

    When we used to live in northern NSW, we had a malaysian lady in town who like to try to FORCE hybridization of various Australian Parrots. One day, we thought we had a new bird for our garden list, but the closest we could put it to was a Superb Parrot, though it wasn’t ‘right’ and we were out of range. Eventually, we heard that one of Connie’s “creations” had escaped – a hybrid between a Mallee Ringneck and a Pale-headed Rosella! It didn’t stay long, but whether through misadventure or ‘travel’ I’m not sure. The neighbours also had a Galah in a cage, to which lots of local Galahs got attracted, including one which had paired with a Little Corella. For about 20 years, they brought their offspring (like pale, washed out Galahs, with a yellow ‘wash’) to feed on spilled seed each year, but none ever lasted more than a season. One day, we saw a dead Corella by the highway, and this ‘pair’ never returned, so it must have been that one.

  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks for these observations John. I can never understand the attraction of deliberately producing variant colours in birds. Why mess with perfection???

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