Avian Expert Articles

A Unique Feather Color Mutation

Budgie, budgerigar, parakeet, 'keetNature is full of surprises. With the wide palette of beautiful colors, brilliant birds that sport them, and every other animal on the face of this earth that share a unique pattern to their existence, nature has yet to disappoint us with its art. One of the more dazzling displays of colors is found on birds. And while we appreciate this well-known attribute of birds, you may be shocked to find that sometimes a mistake is made resulting in a bird so different that it makes us fill with awe at the results.

Half-Sider Birds

There is a rare accident of nature that produces what is known as a “Half-Sider” bird. In essence, the “half-sider” is a bird split down the middle in color as if it were, in fact, two birds fused into one, a sort of freak experiment, if you will. And in reality, that’s what they are. Only it happens at the fertilization period.

cardinal bird, red bird, half-colored birdThese “half-sider” birds are technically two individual fraternal twins that were fused during their very early development. In this fusing, they become one distinct embryo that eventually is hatched as these unique and fascinating hybrids of male and female, or male/male, female/female. Often, females and males, as in the cardinals, have separate appearances in color. When this “half-sider” event occurs, the red male, and greenish-brown female sides are easily determined.

There is a complex scientific explanation to this phenomenon that can be found on the internet. Here is a link that details this amazing process that produces such a stunning visual effect. In the avian world, this can happen to any bird. Sadly, birds of these kinds are not well-received by their own in the wild, or in a caged setting. But despite the strangeness of the occurrence, these birds in captivity are extraordinarily beautiful.

The “half-sider” effect has been mostly noted in parakeets and other parrots, as well as chickens, cardinals and finches. This chimera effect is so striking that it is impossible to not be amazed and awe-struck by the colorful division of sides.

Yes, nature is full of beautiful surprises. And a half-sider bird is one of them.

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