Given the rarity of hybridization in seabirds, which presumably relates to their very high philopatry, the degree of breeding‐site vagrancy should correspond with the incidence of mixed‐species pairing, although not necessarily of hybrids if there are behavioural or genetic barriers to successful reproduction. Using molecular methods, we verified that two of the three chicks hatched by a vagrant male White‐capped Albatross Thalassarche steadi paired with a female Black‐browed Albatross T. melanophris at South Georgia were genuine hybrids (these chicks died before fledging, but a third chick – the result of an extra‐pair copulation – fledged successfully). In a wider review, we could find only five known or suspected mixed‐species pairs, and three different hybrids in albatrosses, mostly between closely‐related species. This appears to reflect behavioural barriers to hybridization in sympatric species and the low incidence of breeding‐site vagrancy (which mainly involves single individuals that invariably associate with the most phenotypically‐similar local taxon). Breeding‐site vagrancy is most frequent in the ‘shy‐albatross’ complex, which could explain why genetic divergence occurred more recently in this group than in other Thalassarche, and hence exploratory behaviour appears to be more important than numerical abundance or breeding distribution in driving colonisation as well as hybridization processes in albatrosses.
Umphrey’s McGee has announced the exciting return of the Chucktown Ball. Just days after completing their two-night UMBowl run, Umphrey’s McGee has revealed plans for something of a hometown celebration in Charleston, SC, as a number of the band members currently live in the area. Taking place from September 23-24 at Riverfront Park, the two night run will see four full sets from Umphrey’s McGee!Not only that, but UM has announced a lineup of very special guests. On September 23rd, UM will rock out with Moon Taxi and The Dead 27s. One day later, they’ll get support from The Floozies, Dangermuffin and The Hip Abduction. This has the makings for a very special weekend of music! The band will also donate a portion of proceeds to MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, supporting a great cause within the community.Last year’s event was quite the celebration, as UM settled in for three solid nights of rocking music. By bringing in other artists and moving from The Music Farm to the outdoor Riverfront Park, UM is certainly taking this event to the next level. The band will be well rested too, as the Chucktown Ball comes a full month after the band’s final scheduled tour date, at LOCKN’ Festival from 8/25-28. You can see UM’s full summer tour plans here.As per UM’s website: Pre-sale and umVIP on-sale will begin on Tuesday, May 10, at 12:00 pm ET. During pre-sale, we will offer a limited amount of deeply discounted two-day early-bird tickets for $55.00. Snag these while supplies last. Public on-sale begins Thursday, May 12, at 12:00 pm ET. More information can be found here.
As far as modern rock and roll goes, few are as committed to the cause as Lady Gaga. The singer returned to her roots last night, performing at the 230-person capacity club The Bitter End in New York, NY, a city where she once cut her teeth in the earliest days of her career. Lady Gaga has pulled a lot of interesting stunts in her career, but her talent as a musician, singer, and songwriter shines above it all.Supporting her new album Joanne, Gaga has been touring dive bars across the country. She not only took the stage at The Bitter End, but the roof as well! Just after midnight in downtown Manhattan, Gaga appeared before the masses of those unable to get inside, and played encore renditions of her songs “Angel Down” and “Joanne.” Watch footage of the exciting performance below.