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Old 12-15-2009, 04:38 PM   #1
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chickadee By Feeding the Birds, You Could Change Their Evolutionary Fate

By Feeding the Birds, You Could Change Their Evolutionary Fate
ScienceDaily
Dec. 4, 2009

By feeding the birds, you could change their evolutionary fate
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Feeding birds in winter is a most innocent human activity, but it can nonetheless have profound effects on the evolutionary future of a species, and those changes can be seen in the very near term. That's the conclusion of a report published online on December 3rd in Current Biology, showing that what was once a single population of birds known as blackcaps has been split into two reproductively isolated groups in fewer than 30 generations, despite the fact that they continue to breed side by side in the very same forests....
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
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Default Birdfeeders Found to Cause Evolution of New Species

Birdfeeders Found to Cause Evolution of New Species
by Brian Merchant
Brooklyn, New York on 12. 4.09

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/12/birdfeeders-found-to-cause-evolution-bird-species.php?campaign=th_rss
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Since the British were providing food for the birds, that gave them a huge advantage in surviving the winter. Over time, the group of birds that didn't migrate south began to mate only with other moochers--creating the first step in the formation of their own species. The researchers had a hunch that this was precisely what was going on, that there would soon be a brand new species of blackcaps. But they needed proof...
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:16 AM   #3
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Exclamation And?

I fully understand that this research is valid and shows what it shows, however, how are humans (outside of feeding birds) impacting these populations? I am referring to habitat degredation, alteration of natural food sources, obstruction of flyways (think windows, cell towers, cities, etc...), artificial light that affects migration, and more (I really could go on and on). Please remember that this is only one piece of the puzzle. If we are going to stop feeding birds, we would do well to evaluate what other changes we should make to our daily lives that put birds at risk. Maybe we wouldn't need bird feeders if we lived more ecologically intuned lives!
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:42 PM   #4
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dragonfly01 Oh hanh! Oh hanh!

Gnomenative, you have hit the nail squarely on the thumb. Wopila tanka! / Strong thanks!

I question the use of the term "species", too. Sub-species, perhaps, but not "species". Regardless - the birds couldn't "mooch" if humans didn't put out "munch". Given the energy requirements of winter & of migration, the birds who visit the feeders are just being sensible. As for mating patterns; they have more sense than 2-leggeds, it appears, when non-migrators only mate with non-migrators.. No one plans to break up the family on a seasonal basis that I can think of.. Humans could learn a lot..
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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I often find that if you look hard enough, you will find that someone has found something wrong with every practice and habit in the world . . .

Thank you for the article though, Staff

Methinks I'll keep feeding the birds though
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by swamp thing View Post
...the staff posts will keep you on your toes, at least they do to me - some of them are controversial or even creepy, not necessarily gospel advice... I hope you don't hesitate to tell us what you think next time.
The staff posts do tend to keep me on my toes also.
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