Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Also rusty on the tracing of DNA markers back to the parents... HOWEVER..... It would allow the bird to be sexed which would defninitely tip the balance on the ID... I think its safe to say if it came back as a male with SBC parent , its less likely to be a pure SBC.... the converse is also true should it prove to be a female with an EC parent.
Just to add to this portion of the debate (assuming the bird is an SBC), the DNA testing would run in conjunction with museum specimens, as this is an ongoing project. The potential would then be to trace the origins of any SBC breeding grounds by comparing back to known origins. It could give hints about the breeding grounds but as I have said before, it may not prove anything at all because these birds may be wandering remnants with little chance of finding a mate. Sadly, this is probably a common feature of extinction that the last bird has an unknown fate unlike Martha the passenger pigeon. It is now five years since any SBC was seen in wintering areas but there is a chance that individual birds are still alive but it is likely we will never know. Sorry to be adding such a sobering note to a lively debate but the research I have done over the last few days has really brought it home to me and I hope it is making other people think too.