As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Half-siders: A tale of two birdies

Also known as "halfsiders" or tetragametic chimæras, these unusual birds are actually two genetically distinct individuals -- twins -- fused into one being.


I recently stumbled across a video that has been attracting quite a bit of discussion. This video shows a captive-bred pet budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus, that is half green and half blue, and the colours are split down the middle. This bird is composed of two distinct individuals fused into one living, breathing being. Yes, you read that correctly. Although this phenomenon is rare, it does pop up often enough amongst captive birds that aviculturists have given these strange birds their own name: "half-sider".

This video is interesting but the narrator's script is quite melodramatic and contains a number of factual errors, which was my impetus to share it with you:



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