That this is rare is beside the point. It shouldn’t happen if the Darwinian idea of species is clear enough to be a valid science concept.
She was a common black hawk. He was a red-shouldered hawk. They weren’t in the same genus, let alone the same species, and they normally don’t even live in the same part of the continent. But in a strange twist of fate, none of that mattered: It was love at first screech.
Researchers have discovered that two hawks from surprisingly distant perches on the tree of life have mated, resulting in rare hybrid chicks…
Their cross is more akin to a human interbreeding with a gorilla or a house cat mating with a jaguar. “Intergeneric hybridization” is exceptionally uncommon in general, and it’s only been recorded in wild hawks and eagles three other times.Jake Buehler, “Hawks’ Forbidden Love Results in a Rare Hybrid” at Gizmodo
In other words, it’s happened before. And it happened here despite the fact that there is roughly “three to four times the amount of genetic separation” between these and other crossbreeding species.
When things are happening that shouldn’t be happening, we had better take a look at the concept of “species” as in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. “Isn’t that cute?” will only take us so far. Admittedly, it is much safer.
Paper. (open access)
Note: The recent absence of a News service is due to computer failure in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Apologies for interruption.