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Re: Bird nests

>From: Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
 > I wrote:
 > >>It is indeed one of the most characteristic features of birds that
 > >>they tend to put nest in out of the way places.
 > Nesting in trees is not a basal bird adaptation.  Many groups of birds
 > (ratites, megapodes, sea birds, anseriformes, etc.) nest on the ground, and
 > most of these nests are no more "out of the way" than are those of crocs',
 > lepidosaurs', or turtles'.

I tend to see this as a secondary reversion in the rattites, one
that goes along with the loss of flight. (After all, without flight,
how do they *get* to the out of the way places!!)

Also, I didn't mean just, or even primarily, trees.  Islands are
as isolated, so are cliffs. Redwing blackbirds nest in dense stands
of rushes or cattails, always well out from shore, and *over* water
(no land underneath at all).

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.