Birds changing gender

To: "Andrew Thelander" <>, <>
Subject: Birds changing gender
From: "Greg" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 09:08:22 +1000
Hi Andrew,

Some years ago while bird banding at Tumbi Umbi, on the Central Coast of NSW, I retrapped an adult female Golden Whistler that was assuming male plumage characters. I knew that it wasn't an immature male assuming adult plumage as the bird was very old (for a small bird) at the time and had only recently began assuming these characters. Its banding and retrap history was recorded on a specially designed card. John Disney, who was the Curator of Birds at the Australian Museum suggested that it was probably due to the deterioration of the ovaries due to age. I think that the XX (female) chromosomes become XY (male).
So this phenomenon has been known for some time.


Greg Clancy

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