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nesting style determines life history in birds

...at least this is the analysis of:
Bennett, P.M. and I.P.F. Owens. 2002 Evol. Ecol. of Birds Life Histories,
Mating Systems and Extinction. Oxford U. Press.

Quoting S. Pruett-Jones in 10 May Science: "Current interspecific
ecological interactions (such as diet, habitat, and competition) may
influence the differences between populations of the same species, but
appear rather unimportant when considering the broad differences between
major groups of birds."  Instead, they say, that variation in life-history
traits and mating systems is due to nesting habits (e.g., holes versus
open nests, and colonial v. singular nesting).