New research suggests that shifting seasons due to global warming have thrown the delicate timing of bird nesting and food availability out of whack, reports Bob Weber at the Ottawa Citizen. “Selection has favoured birds arriving at the perfect time, so they get there right at the peak of insect food, the big flush of all different kinds of insects we get in spring,” said lead author and university scientist Kevin Fraser, of the new study, published in the online journal PLOS One. But spring has been arriving earlier and earlier. Migrating martins, the study’s subjects, were found in 2012 to migrate later from the tropics than normal, arriving past their food peak at nesting sites. Some species of migratory birds that don’t roam as widely have been able to adjust their flight schedules, Fraser said. “It’s the long-distance migrants that are having trouble.” Purple martins may just be too far away to receive signals about conditions on their breeding range. The same issue may be affecting other bug-eating long-distance migrators, which are all suffering from population declines as large as three per cent annually.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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