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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Western PA looks like a parakeet? (1 Viewer)

Need asssistance in identifying this beautiful bird. First time we ever saw a bird like this at our feeders. Soon after, we saw a blue one in our apple tree. I told my wife that it looks like someone’s pet bird got out, but then we saw the blue one so they must be traveling together. Thank you for the help. Jom
 

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Thank you! This is probably going to sound silly, but does that mean it’s actually someone’s pet? And we’ve never seen these birds in the 10 years we’ve been feeding them. Are they common in western PA?
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
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Scotland
Hi Jimbob and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Did you know that in the wild, with rare exceptions no doubt, Budgies only occur in Green, not yellow or Blue
Some years ago (and before I started visiting) there was a recognized naturalized population of budgies in Florida. The origin obviously was from escapes but it was recognized "wild". Would such a population revert to green over time or do they continue carrying the color mutations from the breeding they had been through? was the lack of becoming green a reason for them to eventually die out?
Niels
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Some years ago (and before I started visiting) there was a recognized naturalized population of budgies in Florida. The origin obviously was from escapes but it was recognized "wild". Would such a population revert to green over time or do they continue carrying the color mutations from the breeding they had been through? was the lack of becoming green a reason for them to eventually die out?
Niels
Absolutely no idea but I'd say probably no, the coulour genes in the feral flock would just bounce around without the injection of wildstock but I'm not a geneologist.
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Absolutely no idea but I'd say probably no, the coulour genes in the feral flock would just bounce around without the injection of wildstock but I'm not a geneologist.


Interesting question. I suspect that natural selection for color is not especially strong in many bird species, or else Northern Cardinals would be rare. (Of course, I don't know what they look like to predators like hawks that see into the ultra-violet, or cats that are largely color-blind.) So I wouldn't bet on the non-green birds dying out, and if ever a green gene does get introduced, it might not spread in the population.

I don't know whether the green genes are completely extinguished in the domestic populations. In theory, the green gene (or group of genes) might be recessive. But that doesn't seem likely, you'd see green domestic budgies hatching all the time. More likely the feral population can't create green offspring any more, and wont' be able to unless a one-in-a-million mutation restores the original functionality of the green gene. And that's assuming the change from green to yellow was due to a small change in the green pigment gene, not a total deletion of it.
 

jurek

Well-known member
Some years ago (and before I started visiting) there was a recognized naturalized population of budgies in Florida. The origin obviously was from escapes but it was recognized "wild". Would such a population revert to green over time or do they continue carrying the color mutations from the breeding they had been through? was the lack of becoming green a reason for them to eventually die out?
Niels
I think this particular population never reverted to wild color before they died out.

However, feral populations of pigeons revert to wild-type color quite fast. It is because predators target a bird which stands out in a flock, to concentrate on one particular target. So if such a population of budgies persisted for much longer, it would quite likely revert to the wild-type green color. Green budgies are still common in cages, and possibly by crossing different mutants, wild type genes would also pick up.
 

Butty

Well-known member
feral populations of pigeons revert to wild-type color quite fast
Really? I've never heard of that and would - personally - doubt it. Do you have a source/evidence for that?

It is because predators target a bird which stands out in a flock, to concentrate on one particular target.
But... flocks of feral pigeons are a random assortment of birds of all manner of colours/patterns - so (more or less) no one bird will stand out - so there is (more or less) no such selective predator-pressure.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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