Rapid evolution may be reshaping forest birds’ wings

Trend for pointier appendages in heavily logged boreal forests, with blunter, rounder ones in reforested parts of New England

By Susan Milius, 18:48 PM August 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — When trees fall in the forest, unheard or not, they may change the shape of bird wings. 

As logging whittled away at Canada’s vast boreal forest during the past century, bird species that frequent mature woodlands developed somewhat pointier wing tips, says André Desrochers of the Center for Forest Research at Laval University in Québec City.

During the same period, forests expanded in New England. Mature-woodland species there trended toward rounder wing tips, he reported ...

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