Birdfeeders in UK are splitting Blackcaps into two species

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike Stay on 2010 March 5

There’s a mutation that sends blackcaps in the wrong direction when migrating for the winter, and they end up in Britain. Before humans started putting out bird feeders, they would merely die. But now, they’re surviving and living to reproduce. They spend part of their time in Europe, but they overlap less with the birds that migrate over the alps; the two groups are now more genetically distinct between groups than within them. This gap arose in around 50 years; if it holds up, the groups may cease to interbreed entirely and will become two different species.


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