It could be well used in the classroom, or to read to your very own Finches
, who need to believe that they can be great too.
The finches, which live on the Galapagos Islands and an island off Costa Rica, have fascinated people since Charles Darwin brought back specimens from a voyage of the H.
Rosemary Grant of Princeton University, who have studied Darwin's finches for more than 40 years.
In the body of the activity, teachers are advised to assert that all 14 species of Darwin's finches differ from each other in body size, and/or beak size and shape, implying that finch species are easy to identify.
Observing the enactment of this simulation suggested various questions: Just how central were Darwin's finches to the development of his theory of evolution and the analogy of natural selection?
Among the most commonly reported are house finches, American robins, crows, mourning doves, blackbirds, scrub jays and hummingbirds.
Locally it's a mixture of thistle, niger and black (extra fatty) sunflower seeds that attracts everything from sparrows to finches, nut-hatches and jays.
At one time, house finches
nested in trees, cactuses, and rocky ledges of the West.
Eggs of cuckoo finches
and tawny-flanked prinias have grown more colorful in the last 40 years--a sign that the neighbors are locked in an evolutionary arms race.
House sparrows were only mildly infectious to naive house finches
for a short time, whereas American goldfinches remained infectious for up to 49 days after inoculation, although by then there were no physical signs of disease.
One group of finches
on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos may become a new textbook example of the way in which two species emerge from one while still living together.
The woodpecker finches
of the Galapagos Islands show no sign of learning their considerable tool-using skill by copying each other.
Gil and his colleagues gave 12 female finches
either a red-banded or green-banded mate for one clutch of eggs and then provided a different bird with the opposite color for the next clutch.
As part of a long-term study that began in 1973, these scientists are monitoring how El Ninos and other climate shifts forced changes within a population of finches
on the Galapagos islands.
Bottjer at the Universityof Southern California in Los Angeles and her colleagues demonstrated that in the course of learning their species' song, baby male zebra finches
show growth in one brain region while another region is diminished.