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Chapter 6

Evolution-In-Action: the Campus Juncos at UCSD

In stark contrast to the peaceful wildlands featured in the prior segments, the urban campus of the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) seems like an unlikely place to find field biologists studying juncos. But in the early 1980s, some juncos decided to make this atypical urban and coastal habitat their year-round home. Since then, scientists have documented a remarkable array of changes in the physical traits, behaviors, and physiology of the “colonist” population of juncos at UCSD when compared to juncos from the nearby native range.

Keywords: adaptation; aggression; animal personality; Atwell, Jonathan; behavior; behavioral ecology; behavioral endocrinology; biology; bird; birds; bold; boldness; breeding phenology; breeding season length; climate change; common garden; contemporary evolution; corticosterone; divergence; diversification; DNA endocrinology; evolution; evolution-in-action; exploratory behavior; feather color; flight-initiation-distance; flush distance; gene sequence; genes; genetics; head black; Indiana University; Junco hyemalis thurberi; Junco; Junco; Ketterson, Ellen; La Jolla; Mount Laguna; Mt. Laguna; natural selection; nest; nesting; Oregon Junco; ornithology; parental behavior; parental care; parenting; personality; phenology; plumage; Price, Trevor; rapid evolution; San Diego Natural History Museum; seasonality; sexual selection; shy; shyness; song frequency; song; songbird; stress; stressors; tail white; testosterone; timing; UCSD; Unitt, Phil; University of California-San Diego; urban ecology; urbanization; Walens, Stan; Yeh, Pamela;

Research Articles & Links: (coming soon)