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Barney vs Tweety

Dear Group:
     I have always had concerns with the relationship that birds have with
dinosaurs.  It is difficult to pick up any dino literature which does not
address theropods evolving into present day birds (I realize this is an over
simplification).   Sure birds have phylogenetic trends similar to dinosaurs
but why did evolution take this path??  Dinosaurs sizes where so diverse but
birds today do not exhbit this diversity.  I understand that speciation
events can lead to morphological changes (the horse for example) but it seems
to me that when we look at fossils that we are seeing only "instant in time"
so how can we be sure that these two groups did evolve separately and simply
share common characteritics (homoplasy) because they lived in the same
ecosystem??   Any thoughts??

                                                         Jon Roudebush