The introduction of great-tailed grackles Quiscalus mexicanus by Aztecs in pre-Columbian times reported by Haemig (Ardeola, 58: 387–397) probably constitutes the most detailed information on an ancient exotic bird introduction. There is however sparse evidence, compiled here, showing that several domesticated and non-domesticated bird species were translocated even thousands of years ago by different civilizations, often ending on exotic introductions which last until current times. Given that different ancient cultures showed a great fascination for exotic birds and intensively traded them, we should expect a number of still unraveled old-time introductions worldwide. The combination of information from old-written documents, archeological and fossil findings, stable isotope analyses, art museums, and the most advanced molecular techniques should add exotic introduction surprises in the coming years.
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Vol. 58 • No. 2