You will see them most any evening these days in Chris Witt’s Albuquerque backyard: the darting, diving, buzzing hummingbird and the aloof nighthawk, feasting on insects in the dim distance. If you were building the bird family tree, you would have no reason to think the two were close kin. But thanks to the work of Witt and a team of other scientists, we now know that they are.
In a scientific tour de force, the scientists have used genetics to rewrite the birds’ family tree.
Some days its better not to read my stories in the newspaper. There was a great little bit of business about Chris’s Philadelphia childhood that was cut out of the story, I presume for space. I’ll dredge it up when I get into the office this morning and share it.