Nest building in zebra finches
There is considerable variation in the structure of nests that birds build, variation that is even observed within species. Different populations, of the same species, are known to use more or less material in their nests and, in some populations, the amount appears to be related to the local temperature. The general assumption is that individual birds respond to the local temperature when constructing their nest, rather than that the structural variation is due to local adaptation. To test this assumption I am working with David Sherry and co at AFAR, University of Western Ontario, to see how zebra finches respond to different temperatures when building their nest.