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Re: Wings and cars



The birds near the highway were indeed thinned out, but I believe it was due
to Darwinian selection and selecting out those that were not able to
recognize the problem and change their habits quickly enough.

I am afraid that I cannot give an honest answer as to how many birds were on
the road before and after. I would suspect that given the excellent food
supplies at the road, the populations that managed to survive the selection
process would simply have a population boost, since they no longer were in
competition with those birds that were selected out of the population.  I
suspect that after some period of time, the general overall numbers ought to
have returned to normal, or nearly so, at least.

I am afraid that we might run into some pretty severe opposition if we try
to reproduce the experiment by going out there in the same area and upping
the speed limit by 10 mph. Bird lovers just might object.


On 3/21/13 10:38 AM, "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> wrote:

> 
> 
> On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 9:16 AM EDT Clair Ossian wrote:
>> ...
>> across the state, mostly on back roads. At one point the state raised the
>> maximum speed limit from 55 to 65 mph, the change to be made effective on a
>> particular Monday.
>> 
>> I was driving across the northern edge of Nebraska on that day, and of
>> course drove the new speed limit. Over and over and over I begin to hit
>> birds which were sweeping across the road in front of my car.
>> ...
>> I struck an unconscionably large number of birds during the first part of
>> that week, but during the following weeks, I seldom hit a bird. The
>> frequency was as it was before the speed limit increase.
>> 
>> The Darwinian observation was very clear. I had changed the parameters of
>> the game, and those birds that could not learn to time themselves relative
>> to the now much faster cars, were selected from the population.
> 
> Curious, could it also have been that the population by the road was only
> just thinned out? Any way to tell the local numbers before and after?