New Article: Bird Ancestors Built Nests Like Defensive Forts

bird nest with three blue eggs
Blackbirds build cup-shaped nests like the one seen here. (Photo: Manyman/Wikipedia)

My story in the May 2017 issue of Scientific American explores the evolution of bird nest shape.┬áMost researchers believed that the common cup style, like the kind robins build under your porch eaves, evolved first, followed by the more complex and time-consuming roofed style. But one team of scientists has found that it happened the other way around. Most ancestors of today’s songbirds built nests like Fort Knox, while the open bowl style came about later. I know I will never look at a blue jay or osprey nest the same way again. Check out the story here!

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