reason for the difference is founder effect. The pigeons would
have been established (and continue to be supplemented) by colour
mutants from domesticated birds. The Quakers were established from wildtype
birds. The rate of mutation is no different.
Quaker population is smaller, any mutant genes being carried in split form are a
good chance of appearing, as we have seen in feral Rainbow Lorikeets
in Perth Aust and in other feral species in Florida USA.
But if the
founders did not carry any pre-existing mutant genes, you have to wait for the
natural mutation rate to produce one, with is a small chance.
this, the pigeons would have been a mix of all the different colour mutations to
begin with and the gene frequencies just flow through the
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 6:08
Subject: [Genetics-Psittacine] city
I live in Barcelona, Spain, where the most comon species are: pigeons,
sparrows and quaker parakeets (introduced).
When I osbserve the pigeon flocks it is almost impossible to find one
showing the 'normal' colour of the species. Almost all of them show one ore
more coloured mutations of many types (pied, cinnamon, dark, pallid,
So, I want to see a mutated quaker. But despite my motivation of spotting
only one mutants in the wild flocks, I have never seen one.
So: why do we have an almost "all" mutated population in pigeons when it
is so exceptional to get only one mutant in the other species?