Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Even think about bird nests? This author has thought about them a lot. Peter Goodfellow, who wrote the new book Avian Architecture, considers birds to have considerable design and engineering skills, not just clever assembly techniques. Really elaborate nests (or courtship structures, as made and decorated by bower birds), made us ask: how do they do that? How can a bird, without any parental instruction, create a complex structure matched to the surrounding branches, rocks, or other anchoring points? Some birds start with amateurish nests and get better, while others seem to have the whole instruction manual in their heads. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Mr. Goodfellow's researches.