Scientists are surprised by a previously unseen, vibrant bird hybrid. A unusual species of bird, with much more to learn in this account.
Gosser followed the sound of the bird's cheery "chick-burr" call in an effort to get a good look at it because these colourful songbirds are notoriously difficult to identify.
Gosser recognised the bird when it finally came into view as not being a scarlet tanager. The bird lacked the male tanager's vivid red body and the female's delicate golden plumage.
The bird was dark in colour with speckling on its chest and a red patch on its throat resembling that of a rose-breasted grosbeak.
Gosser, a long-time birder who observed the bird in July 2020. A rose-breasted grosbeak doesn't sound anything like a scarlet tanager, in his opinion.
Gosser contacted Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, in an effort to learn more about the bird.
Staff members from the Aviary were able to find the bird with the assistance of Gosser. They then took a little sample of blood
test's findings, which were reported in Ecology and Evolution in July, the enigmatic bird Gosser discovered was a cross between a rose-breasted grosbeak and a scarlet tanager.
It is the first time a hybrid of these two widely divergent species has been observed and its finding raises concerns about the potential existence of further hybrids.
Long-term divergence of bird species is possible while maintaining interfertility. According to David Toews, an assistant professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University
hybridization between wild greylag geese and Canada geese, whose species separated by 12 million years, has taken place, successful breeding between these