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First record of an aberrantly colored Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata)

AuthorsBenítez-López, Ana ; García-Egea, Iván
KeywordsPterocles alchata
Progressive graying
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse
Aberrant coloration
Genetic variant
Issue Date2015
PublisherWilson Ornithological Society
CitationWilson Journal of Ornithology 127(4): 755-759 (2015)
AbstractThe distribution and frequency of color aberrations in wild birds is relatively poorly known. Here we report, for the first time, the observation of an aberrantly colored Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), a threatened steppe bird with cryptic plumage and behavior. The bird displayed a continuous white patch on its back that was not bilaterally symmetrical (i.e., not far from the neural crest), thus discarding leucism as an explanation. Plausible explanations are progressive graying and, most likely, an injury that damaged feather follicles affecting the pigment cells in that area. This very rare observation (0.02%, n = 5,720) contributes to future studies exploring the frequency of color aberrations in wild birds depending on their ecological and behavioral characteristics.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1676/15-013
Identifiersdoi: 10.1676/15-013
issn: 1559-4491
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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