Birds are known to migrate to various warmer locations to avoid living in harsh climates during the winter. Usually, the bird has no issue finding its way home, but one misguided bird somehow found itself a long way from home. But instead of dying, the bird created an entirely new species that has intrigued scientists for 36 years.
In 1981, scientists were studying a small island north of Santa Cruz called Daphne Major. It was here the researchers noticed a bird that was much larger than the birds native to the island.
The bird, which looks like a finch hybrid, sounded different than the normal species of finch. Intrigued, the scientist captured the bird and took a blood sample to look through its genetics to see where the bird originated from.
It was no surprise that the bird was a type of finch, but what is surprising is how it got there. According to the New York Post, the strange finch lived over 60 miles away on another island in the Pacific.
The bird, which scientists are referring to as “Big Bird,” was stranded and began to repopulate with a finch native to the Daphne Major. Scientists were amazed by how quickly an entirely new species could be created.
The blood work the researchers took from the original Big Bird gave additional answers as to how this bird keeps repopulating.
They discovered the offspring of the original big bird had issues finding a mate, according to the Daily Mail.
Since it was not full finch, there were two things that hindered it from finding a mate. To start, it did not have the right tone and pitch when trying to court a mate, and it was much larger than any other finch on the island, which scared off potential mates.
To keep its bloodline going, researchers discovered the Big Bird offspring began to interbreed with its own kind.
Now, six generations later, this species of bird still has scientists talking.