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A wildlife sanctuary in New Zealand has nicknamed one its feathered friends the ‘butch bellbird’ after they discovered it had the characteristics of both a male and a female.

Eco-sanctuary Zealandia in Wellington has revealed a young bellbird in their care had the DNA readings of a female but acts like a male, and has a mix of each sex's plumage, making it possibly the nation’s first transgender bird.

The now 18-month-old honey-eater, known in Maori as a Korimako, moves like a male when feeding but its calls are mixed.

"It could be due to a hormonal imbalance or it could be a reaction to shock or an incomplete moult - given the appearance and behaviour, any of those would be unusual though," Stuff.co.nz quoted bird expert Ben Bell of Victoria University.

Sparrow-sized New Zealand bellbirds are dark olive-green with red eyes – males have a blue tint around its face and the female has a white stripe.

Zealandia staff are having a mini political correctness dilemma with the bird, conservation officer Erin Jeneway says.

She calls the butch bellbird "her" while her colleague Matu Booth uses "him".

Image via Getty


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A girl or is there a cock-or-too? Transgender bird discovered in New Zealand
Digital Mag

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