29 June 2011
Gouldian Finches occur in two morphs. Red heads or Black heads. Red-headed females prefer red-headed males – and black prefer blacks. In the small populations it is not always possible for the finches to chose their own type. When they cross the results are not good. However, a “hybrid” female will always have less viability than “hybrid” male. The stress of mating the “wrong”kind makes the Gouldian Finch able to regulate the outcome producing more male “hybrid” offspring which has better viability. Read Grrl Scientist fascinating account how the females do this.
15 June 2011
In 1960, the International Council for Bird Preservation met in Tokyo to encourage governments around the world to designate a national bird, particularly among species in the greatest need of protection in each country. Great Indian Bustard was one of the most threatened species on the Indian Sub-continent. An obvious choice to any conservationist. However, in the end, the Indian government decided to place the title to the peacock. The bustard was passed over because its name was similar to a pejorative term for an illegitimate child. Now the species is Critically Endangered.