Males, that become female of females that become males, do you ever hear about that?
It could sound strange for many people, but … it really happens!
Every year, I hatch a few birds displaying this feather abnormality…
What I noticed:
1) It happens mostly with Chinese painted quail (Coturnix chinensis), almost of the US Red-breasted color-mutation
2) In more rare cases, males can also turn themselves into females. This happened to me one time.
3) Some birds are born this way, others transform them later in life.
4) Birds affected by this particularity never produce offspring: the females never lay eggs and the males seem to be sterile.
5) Those birds never showed other particularity, they are healthy and no more fragile than the others.
6) Birds do not retrieve a normal feathering after molting, so they stay that way until they die.
Because I always have the reflex to isolate every strange of interesting produced birds to take pictures of them, I now have a little compilation of pictures to let you see how those birds look like. Enjoy!
A female of Chinese painted quail (Coturnix chinensis), US Red-breasted, from 2018: HERE
2 females of Chinese painted quail (Coturnix chinensis), US Red-breasted transforming themselves: HERE
A golden pearl female of Chinese painted quail (Coturnix chinensis) becoming a male: HERE
Female Chinese painted quail, US Red-breasted changing to male coloration in 2021: HERE
Another female of Chinese painted quail in the first phase of “color-transformation”: HERE
US Red-breasted cinnamon female of 2021, showing unusual male coloration: HERE