Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Darwin Dilemma?

As I was mowing the other day I looked up and saw this bird's nest, still held askance by a pine bough, ready to tip an old clutch of eggs to the ground. I thought of Charles Darwin as I cut the next long row of grass.

 What of the bird that lay them there? Because the nest was not well made, not placed deeply enough on the pine, the nest was at risk of the weather tumbling it down. And so, I believe, it did. There were therefor no offspring. Isn't this a case of natural selection? Survival of the fittest?
 The next bird, better adapted to building nests, fledged her brood which will then fly on to have offspring of their own. So the better bird was chosen.
 Or was this a chance mistake? Will the next nest be better built? Even if that case, there will be fewer offspring.
 Perhaps this is an example of nothing at all, just a gust of wind which brought down this one well-built nest? It is hard to read too much into a couple of rotten eggs ready to tumble to the ground.
 But I will try.