No doubt some readers are old enough to recall Dr. Doolittle's imaginary hybrid between a gazelle and a unicorn, the pushmi-pullyu. Without going into the details of pushmi-pullyu taxonomy, suffice to say that this issue's mystery bird shares one important characteristic with that mythical creature. Specifically, one of the birds in the photograph is seemingly mired in an identity crisis. That's right, the bird on the left fails to match precisely any duck-like bird regularly occurring in Massachusetts. This observation brings us back to the fictitious pushmi-pullyu by suggesting that we might need to consider interspecies hybridization to identify the mystery bird.
To view the rest of the article you'll need to subscribe
. Bird Observer publishes original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, field notes, field records, photographs, and art work.