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(Jessie Cohen / NZP, SI)

Evolution By Bird Feeder

Blackcap birds
(Mike Wilkes / NPL / Minden Pictures)
Blackcap birds that breed in Central Europe in the summer traditionally fly to Spain for the winter. But in the past 50 years, some have started wintering in Britain, lured by seed and suet in bird feeders. Significantly, the birds tend to mate with others that wintered in the same area. Now researchers from Germany and elsewhere have observed that the two blackcap groups differ in wing shape, beak width and feather color—evidence of evolution in action.

Learn more about the blackcap at the Encyclopedia of Life.


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