Sat, 7 Jul 2007 18:09:30 +1000
On 6 July Colin Driscoll reported a probable hybrid between an Eastern Rosella
and a Pale-headed Rosella and asked if others had seen such birds.
In fact there is a broad zone of hybridisation between these two species across
south-eastern Qld and into ne NSW. This has led Dick Schodde to suggest that
the two should be lumped into one 'white-cheeked' rosella species, for similar
reasons to the lumping of Crimson, Yellow and Adelaide Rosellas - the
'blue-cheeked' rosellas. Current thinking is that the Green, Western and the
Northern Rosellas are distinctive enough, and geographically isolated, so that
a reasonable case can be mounted to retain them as separate species. Amongst
southern 'Pale-headed Rosellas' a turquoise shade to the rump [rather than
blue-grey] is indicative of introgression with Easterns.
Brief mention of the range of plumages that these hybrids can display is given
in the plumage section of the Eastern Rosella account in HANZAB, and one hybrid
plumage form is illustrated.
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