I reckon that this is why this sort of molecular
phylogenetics is so cool, and why it needs to be used in conjunction with
field ecology. I only recently saw my first Regent Honeyeater at Chiltern
NP (Vic) last year and then I thought it was like a big colourful Wattlebird,
and now, what do you know?
So birders know their birds and when this knowledge
is coupled with differences in the molecular make up of different populations
interesting conclusions can be drawn.
I thought one of the coolest parts of the Driskell
and Christidis paper was the basal position of the Spinebills and how they are
highly adapted to nectar feeding, which at the time was abundant as
Australia was then covered in heathland.