Discusses mule canaries which show a tendency to revert to wild plumage colours.
7 Princess Terrace, | Regent's Pk,
My dear Sir,
We are indebted to you for the exceedingly interesting
observation that when two very distinct races of domestic
pigeons are crossed, whatever may be the colouring of the
parent birds, there is a decided strong tendency for the mixed young to
resume that of the wild C. livia. I have been studying the
races of canaries lately, both wild and domestic, and I possess
the true wild bird from Madeira (2 cocks), and also one of the
genuine wild race which was taken here in company with
greenfinches, in Oct
With the Compts of the season, believe me to remain Yours ever Sincerely | E. Blyth—
- f1 5776.f1CD had discussed the descent of domesticated varieties of pigeon from the rock pigeon (Columba livia) in Origin, pp. 23--7, 166; on the reversion of crossed varieties, see Origin p. 25. There is a more detailed discussion in Variation 1: 180--224, in which CD cited information from Blyth on Indian pigeon varieties (see Variation 1: 181--5, 197).
- f2 5776.f2Blyth refers to the gardens of the Zoological Society in Regent's Park, London.
- f3 5776.f3Canaries (Serinus), linnets (Acanthis) and goldfinches (Carduelis) are members of the family Fringillidae. CD briefly discussed canaries in Variation. CD had previously enquired about reversion in canaries, see Correspondence vol. 8, letter from B. P. Brent, [May--June 1860?]. Blyth's information on the streaked plumage of hybrids of the canary and goldfinch was added to Variation 2d ed., 2: 15.
- f4 5776.f4Blyth described the reversion of crosses between the canary and goldfinch, as indicated by the streaked back characteristic of the wild canary, in Land and Water, 22 February 1868, p. 81.