Rare documentation of a chimeric Black Redstart


Here is a peculiar story to lighten up the strange times we live in, with the novel Corona virus determining much of our days. We would also like to acknowledge that the Covid-19 pandemic affects Ornis Svecica, just like every other part of society, with editors, reviewers and others involved having more constraints on the time that they volunteer. For that reason, this story has been waiting for a while, ready to see the light of day. But this is prime season for singing Black Redstarts Phoenicurus ochrurus, so the timing is perhaps ideal.


About a year ago, Nicolas Martinez observed an unusual-looking Black Redstart in pair with a typical-looking male. Seen from one side, this peculiar bird looked like a male, and from the other side it predominantly looked like a female, with some male-looking parts mixed in. This rare phenomenon is known as bilateral gynandromorphism, and may produce animals that are half females and half males, with female and male organs in the different sides of their body! 

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Vol. 30 (2020)

Volume 30 is the first whole-year online volume of Ornis Svecica with continuous publishing of open access contributions. The cover (available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License) features  Dalmatian Pelicans Pelecanus crispus and Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo interacting at Lake Kerkini in Greece, an interspecific association that Källander (2020) explores in this volume. The photo is taken by Daniel Trim ©. 

Published: 2020-01-25
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