How do bird species compete with each other?

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This is one of those great examples of research you can probably use in an advanced biology classroom (high school) or intro college bio pretty effectively. It includes birds. It includes hormones. It includes evolution. What else is there, really?

I did a very brief writeup on it here, and you can get the original paper which is very straight forward and readable.

The bottom line: Females in one species of bird manage to figure out that under certain, occasional conditions if they produce really obnoxious and overbearing sons, those sons will do well. So they do. There is a phylogenetic reasons they can do this, and it has to do with development and adaptive change. In other words, this example is a Tinbergian wet dream.

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28 thoughts on “How do bird species compete with each other?

  1. I found this really interesting, but the most interesting part was that I noticed that you saw a bird eating a monkey once.. Will you care to elaborate a little bit more on that subject? It sounds like an amazing experience.

  2. Evolution is indeed one of the main reasons why birds compete with eachother, because of allopatric speciation and natural selection, an example of this are the galapagos finches.

  3. It is quite amazing how evolution is. It explains many questions that are unanswered to many people, on why some certain things are there way they are. Creating a beautiful area for scientists and anyone curious a chance to find an answer.

  4. Once again it is the female that did something different in this wonderful world of ours 🙂 This is a beautiful bird species. Does this accrue with this type of bird species only and where can one find this type of bird? 15008861

  5. Female humans would really love to have that ability.Organisms in nature are so complex.Who would have imagined that a bird so small could have this outstanding ability?

  6. Birds definitely compete with one another because there are limited resources and an unlimited number of birds, but there are cases where birds help each other out. I have seen some parent birds feeding the young of other parent birds.

  7. How amazing is our world and its’ nature!
    I would want to know how much did this bird species change over the years to come to this understanding about their conditions to produce? it’s always so amazing to see the evolution.

  8. This is a true wonder of nature. Evolution has brought about many changes within species, and due to competition, natural selection allows for the survival of the fittest. This concept explains the changes which occurred within this particular bird species. It is remarkable that this species could advance to obtain these abilities. Further evidence to support the powerful capabilities of females. 😉

  9. This is a perfect example of survival of the fittest as only the most aggressive offspring will be able to find nesting space after a fire. 15037780

  10. I find it fascinating that the sons exhibit aggressive and obnoxious behaviour. However, I do not quite understand why that is so, is it caused by certain hormones? Are there any other factors that directly influence the actual behaviour of the sons, such as or besides genetics, for example?

  11. Well we all have heard of “survival of the fittest”, I personally think this question of how bird species compete with each other, takes us back there. I mean if the female birds manages to figure out when and under what occasions should they reproduce obnoxious and overbearing for their well being, what better way is there to survive than to use the characteristic already acquired? But what is Tinbergian wet dream?

  12. It’s incredable how animals adabt inoder to have the best chance of survival. Even in the smallest of spesies like the littel bird we find them to evolve to give their ovspring the best chances of survival.
    What is the mening of Tinbergian wet dream?

  13. It is amazing what these female birds can do. it is also a very fitting example of survival of the fittest. I’m astonished that a species can change like that !

  14. I definitely agree with previous posts that this is an excellent example of adaptations of animals in order to survive. Reasons for survival and producing the change in behaviour might include the changes in climate, of habitats etc.

  15. I definitely agree with previous posts that this is an excellent example of adaptations of animals in order to survive. Reasons for survival and producing the change in behaviour might include the changes in climate, of habitats, limiting resources etc.

  16. Micro evolution in the making!
    Its interesting how birds are the species who give us the best examples of Darwin’s theory for instance the finches he observed on the Galapagos islands. Does this mean that birds evolve more quickly than other species?

  17. The Law of nature determines that all living being, whether animals, plants or humans, are vulnerable. The biological composition of a specie helps you to overcome an enemy. Compositions can include knowledge, physical strengths, hormone compositions, etc. In the case of the above mentioned different bluebird species, the hormones of the mountain species that they lacked was the weakness that gave the Western Bluebird species an edge over them and allowed the Western Bluebird specie to dominate them. It is a perfect example of Darwin’s theory of natural selection which is applicable to all species not just the Bluebirds!

  18. We have all heard about the survival of the fittest? It is remarkable to witness how animals such as the birds adapt when the environment changes, they adapt so that they can have the best chance of surviving these changes. The small birds also evolve because they want their “babies’’ to survive these changes( but the sad thing is only the strongest offspring will find nesting space after a fire (Only the strongest survive)). Therefore this is a very good example of survival of the fittest (how animals such as birds can adapt to survive. This is absolutely great)

  19. This is utterly astonishing, who knew that birds could, through certain conditions ‘generate’ offspring of their desired characteristics. I’m sure if humans were capable of such the world would be over-populated with arrogant people

  20. Could i compare this to how a crocodiles could determine if their new-borns could be male or female through different climate changes?

  21. Vulnerability promotes the need to adapt. Birds are extremely vulnerable considering their size. This characteristic will help this species flourish considerbly

  22. vulnerability promotes panic and adapting to an environment. this species of bird will surely flourish

  23. I fully agree withe the post. there are a lot of competition under different bird species for resources. To deal with this competition different bird species evolved different characteristics.

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