The bird that has confused scientists: weird warbler is THREE species in one

It is one of the weirdest birds ever found.

Scientists have shown that a bird found in Pennsylvania is the offspring of a hybrid warbler mother and a warbler father of an entirely different gender.

The strange combination resulted in a hybrid bird with three species.

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The bird found in Pennsylvania is the offspring of a hybrid warbler mother and a warbler father of a completely different species

This finding has just been published in the journal Biology Letters.

It is extremely rare, said lead author and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, postdoctoral assistant David Toews.

& # 39; The female is a Golden-winged / Blue-winged Warbler hybrid – also called a Brewster & # 39; s Warbler.

They are then paired with a Chestnut-sided Warbler and successfully reproduced. & # 39;

Lowell Burket, a birdwatcher in Pennsylvania, saw the strange animal for the first time in May 2018 and eventually came into contact with researchers from the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Lab at the Cornell Lab.

Graphical shows predicted pedigree of warblers leading to the hybrid of three species. Blue-winged, Golden-winged, and Brewster & # 39; s Warblers by Liz Clayton Fuller; Chestnut-sided Warbler from del Hoyo et al. (2018) Handbook of the Birds of the World Living; new hybrid from Jillian Ditner. Graphic courtesy of the Cornell Lab or Ornithology.

I've tried to make the e-mail sound somewhat intellectual, so they would not think I was a crazy observer & # 39 ;, remembers Burket.

& # 39; The photo & # 39; s and video have helped. Within a week, researcher David Toews came down. We found the bird again and collected a blood sample and measurements.

& # 39; It was a very interesting and exciting morning for us.

& # 39; A few days later I received a text from Dave who said: & # 39; You were right !!! & # 39;

The key to identifying the parents of the triple hybrid came from genetic analyzes.

Hybridization is common in Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers, and this is particularly worrying for Golden-winged Warblers that have been dramatically reduced in some populations.

But hybridization has never occurred between these species and maroon singers.

This type of rare hybridization event can also occur more frequently in the declining warbler populations of Appalachia, because there is a smaller pool of partners from which to choose.

Two views of the rare triple hybrid warbler (Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, and Chestnut-sided Warbler)

& # 39; That this crossing occurred within a population of Golden-winged Warblers in significant decline suggests that women may make the best of a bad situation, & # 39; says Toews.

It also tells us that wood snappers in general have remained genetically compatible long after they have developed large differences in appearance. & # 39;

Will the mixed origin of the bird confuse potential partners and make him a pariah or will he be able to find a partner and successfully produce offspring? Scientists will monitor this location to see what the future may mean for this very rare bird.