Letters

Published on 01 September 1911 in Letters

SIRS,–In noting (supra, p. 83) t h e occurrence of t h e interbreeding of Song-Thrush a n d Blackbird, it is stated t h a t ” Mr. Adamson considers that the male influences t h e colour of t h e egg-shell in such a case, b u t this seems impossible of belief.” On page 199 of Newton’s Dictionary of Birds, 1893-96, i t is stated : ” A most important, b u t still unexplained, allegation is t h a t eggs, containing hybrids, are n o t exactly like t h e eggs of t h e race or species of the female, b u t more or less resemble also t h e eggs of t h e race t o which the fertilizing male belongs. Instances of such mongrel eggs are mentioned b y Nathusius (Zeitschrift f. Wissensch. Zoologie, X V I I I . , page 299) ; and other well-authenticated instances would form valuable contributions to any of our scientific periodicals.” In 1903 I was given a n egg laid b y a Canary hen (pure) when mated with a Goldfinch cock. This egg, which I still have, is more like t h a t of a Goldfinch t h a n t h a t of a Canary. A t t h e same time in m y aviary here, I was mating Silver-Pheasant hens with Common Pheasant cocks,, and the eggs laid b y this cross were certainly somewhat

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