1) A Database on Bird Hybrids

In 1997 I was involved in a series of discussions regarding the biological concept of species. When I wanted to document my position, I realized how little information there was on the Internet regarding bird hybrids. I then started a web project on bird hybrids. The first version was completed in 1998 and was a success. It was quoted by a number of web sites including the web site of the “Handbook of the Birds of the World”. A second version is available since March 2003 in a searchable database format at:

We invite you to update your web link to this page.

2) What is an hybrid?

A bird hybrid is basically a bird that has two different species as parents. The resulting bird can present with any combination of characters from the parent species, from totally identical to completely different. Usually, the bird hybrid shows intermediate characteristics between the two species. A “successful” hybrid is one demonstrated to produce fertile offsprings.

The description of bird hybrids results from observations in nature combined with those obtained in captivity such as in zoos per example.

If you are developing an interest in bird hybrids, I invite you to read the following link that contains basic concepts of speciation:

3) Bibliography

We started our research with two basic books that contain compilation of bird hybrids with numerous references :

I- Gray A. P. 1958 "Bird Hybrids. A Check-List with Bibliography" Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, Buck

Excellent for references dated before 1958. Sadly, this book is no longer edited.

II- Panov E. N. 1989 "Natural hybridisation and ethological isolation in birds" Nauka, Moscou

Excellent for references dated before 1989. This book is limited to bird hybrids observed in nature. Moreover, please note that this book is written in Russian.

Since October 2001, we have pushed this work further by performing litterature search in biological databases :

Zoological Record 1978-present
Biosis 1968-present
Condor 1899-present
Wilson Bulletin 1899-present

This work is not yet finished. We are still re-searching with new keywords these databases.

We invite you to use the litterature presented in this database as a start for a serious bibliographical search. We do not pretend that this database is complete or exact, you should do your own search if required.

4) How to quote this database?

Serge Dumont Bird Hybrids Database:

5) How can I help with references or hybrids?

For now, please contact me directly by e-mail:

Serge Dumont

In the future, this web site will include a data entry section that will permit collaborators to enter directly on the web their data.

6) I found mistakes in the database?

It is possible that mistakes appear in this database for various reasons. If you have noticed any, please forward them to us at:

7) Nomenclature used for English names

Two classifications are accepted in this database:

Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World, Charles G. Sibley and Burt L. Monroe, Jr., Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1990. ISBN 0-300-04969-2, pp. 1111

Complete Checklist Birds Of The World, Richard Howard and Alick Moore, 1991

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