Birds are Late for a Very Important Date

Did you know?

When it comes to a changing climate, birds aren’t feeling the love – and it’s putting some feathered populations at risk.

Migratory birds rely on their internal biological clocks to tell them when to arrive to and depart from breeding grounds. Their movements are synchronized with weather conditions, peak food availability, and availability of nesting sites. A warming climate can result in a cascade of environmental changes – including local temperature and precipitation shifts, changes in the timing of emergence of food sources, such as insects, and shifting habitat ranges – that throw this synchronization out of whack. Arriving to less than ideal conditions at their breeding grounds can reduce the reproductive success of many bird populations.   

Birds that do not migrate also face challenges related to a changing climate. Changes in precipitation and temperature patterns impact food availability and the timing of resident birds’ breeding. As habitat conditions change for both migratory and non-migratory species, some birds may travel to other regions that fit their climatic range. In their new habitats, these birds may face increased competition for limited food resources, and encounter new predators or competitors that make it difficult or impossible to survive.

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