Hybrid Rainbow/Musk Lorikeets

To: "Peter Ewin" <>, "? birding-aus" <>, <>
Subject: Hybrid Rainbow/Musk Lorikeets
From: "Chris Corben" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 04:41:55 -0600
Peter Ewin wrote

Has anyone on this group come across this before with these species (or any others) where an obvious hybrid has sucessfully bred with a member of one its parents species?

Back in the 1980s there were two birds hanging around Pt Lookout on Stadbroke Island which presented an even stranger case. I took lots of notes on these birds because of the interest they generated.

One of these was an obvious Pied x Grey Butcherbird hybrid. It showed mixed characters of the two putative parents. It was seen more than once, but not over a long period, as extensive later searches failed to find it.

The other bird was a good bit larger, and clearly had Magpie in it. For the most part, it looked like a Magpie x Pied Butcherbird hybrid, but showed some characters which didn't fit that mould - eg a grey back. It was seen many times over a long period and was photographed (not by me - was it Mick Atzeni?).

When I first saw these birds, they were closely associating and could both be found consistently in one part of the Pt Lookout township.

The simplest explanation for the parentage of the second bird was that it was the child of the first bird and a Magpie. IE a trihybrid! From memory, both Pied and Grey Butcherbirds were common around Pt Lookout, but Magpies were scarce.

I think when I asked around about this I was told that tryhybrids are known in at least ducks and finches, but only in captivity? Anyone know the answer to that?

Cheers, Chris Corben.


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