We recently mentioned in our StarTribune column (Home and Garden section, Wednesdays) DNA in relationship to study of cowbird brood parasitism. An excellent video explaining DNA and the study of bird evolution has been prepared by the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. In the video, Dr. Robert Zink, a UM faculty member who specializes in avian DNA study, discusses a project he is sharing with a Russian colleague. He offers insight into how the diversity represented by the world's nearly 10,000 bird species evolved from what was, in the beginning, a single species that we could call bird. You can find this video and 54 others prepared by the Bell Museum at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcGPF2gTRrA
Now, be sure to see the Birds of Paradise video at https://www.youtube.com/embed/REP4S0uqEOc. This shows bird diversity and evolution at perhaps its highest point.