Hybrids moving (further) north

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We knew it was coming … and it has happened: we recently obtained genetic evidence that at least a few birds in our Tuscarora State Park study site (Schuylkill County) are hybrids, rather than pure Black-capped Chickadees (BCCH). This makes sense given the rate at which the hybrid zone has been moving north throughout our study. The arrival of hybrids at Tuscarora creates challenges (and new research expenses), because we can’t assume that everyone is a BCCH … but it will provides opportunities also, relating to the earliest integration of birds with non-BCCH genotypes into the population. Never a dull moment!