Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Songbirds Evolve With Forests



Songbirds are rapidly changing their tune, figuratively speaking, to cope with deforestation and regrowth.

"Eastern North American songbirds are a pretty adaptable bunch, says a scientist who discovered some remarkable changes in their wings over the last 100 years.  A close look at museum collections of 851 songbird specimens belonging to 21 species shows that most of the birds evolved pointier wings after their forests were fragmented by clear-cutting. Others in re-foresting areas evolved less-pointy wings. The reason for the wing changes: nothing less than the drive to procreate."

Link: Full article from Discovery News

Scarlet Tanager © 2010 Mike McDowell

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