Hybrid magpies

Subject: Hybrid magpies
From: (Danny Rogers)
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 08:43:03 +1000 (EST)
Hi all,

My thanks to everyone who responded to my query about whether the hybrid
zone between Black-backed and White-backed Magpies is moving south. I
thought I should summarise the responses, since some of them came to me
directly rather than through birding-aus. In short I learned that:

1. The hybrid zone may well be expanding. Southerly range extensions of
Black-backeds and hybrids were reported from the Kinglake area, Wattle Park
and between Yea and Seymour. Northerly range extensions of White-backeds and
hybrids were reported near Wangaratta, Thredbo and Canberra. 

2. A PhD student from Jane Hughes' magpie-team at Griffith University is
remapping the hybrid area described by Burton and Martin in the
mid-seventies, looking not only at plumages of magpies, but employing
biochemical analyses of blood samples to look at gene flow.

3. I was wrong to imply in any way that Magpies are "ugly", "unpleasant" or
"boring". I have been taken to task and I am very, very sorry.

Danny Rogers
340 Ninks Road
St Andrews 3761.

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