A New Bird Species Arrives

Started May 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
ASR45
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Re: Thanks Augusto, Ernest, Alan and Wearsider---A Larger Photo
In reply to Stephen McDonald, May 30, 2012

Thats the Bird

Stephen McDonald wrote:

The two doves in Costa Rica and So. Africa are different, but similar species. There must be a couple of dozen species around the world, that aren't much different. I've added another shot of the doves at a larger size here, to show their features better.

The Passenger Pigeon was reduced as much by dynamiting its roosts as by hunting. They sometimes would kill tens of thousands of them, with a single big blast. That species had developed a need to be in a huge nesting colony of at least 10 million birds, before it would go into its breeding cycle. When the populations in the various nesting colonies had dropped below that level, reproduction ceased. Even though there may have been 30 or 40 million of them remaining at one time, they were doomed by this behavior trait, because not enough of them were in any one place.

You'd think that at least a small percentage of them would have had a variant of this behavior and would have nested, but apparently it wasn't enough to sustain them. Today, with endangered species recovery programs, they might figure out a way to induce some captive birds to breed. By selecting the few birds that would nest as solitary pairs, eventually they might be able to reintroduce a new variety into the wild, that didn't require a large nesting colony.

Obviously, the Passenger Pigeons developed their nesting behavior in a place where there were no people. You might wonder if there were some species of colony-nesting pigeons in the Eastern Hemisphere that were hunted to extinction before history began to be written.

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Alan.

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