Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebirds, like this young bird Erika and I saw in the Carleton College Arboretum, are always pleasant to find. Previously, I posted a few times on this species—try the search box to the right side of this blog.  Recently I published posts about Western and Mountain bluebirds.

All three species of bluebirds are known to hybridize, albeit infrequently. Genetic studies indicate that Eastern and Western bluebirds diverged in the late Pliocene, some 2.45 million years ago (Gowaty and Plissner 1998, Power and Lombardo 1996). These studies also conclude that bluebirds, although definitely thrushes, are not closely related to other members of the thrush family.

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