As Birds Winter, Signs of Warming
Data collected by the Audubon Society indicates that global warming is having a serious impact on natural systems, as birds attempt to adapt to climate change.
- Across hundreds of species, behavioral changes are occurring that point directly to global warming as the cause.
- While birds are ‘highly mobile and quick to adapt’, they sometimes cannot adapt quickly enough. Common birds overall are declining, often due to habitat loss.
- While birders have remarked on this anecdotal evidence for years, a recently released Audobon report confirms the trend.
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As birds winter, signs of warming
The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Sandy Bauers
February 10, 2009
The American robin, once a harbinger of spring, is now a year-round resident here, hunkering down for the winter in thickets.
For years, Schuylkill Haven birder and wildlife author Scott Weidensaul used to relish seeing the first turkey vulture that would venture north of the Kittatiny Ridge come the melting snow. Now, he sees them throughout the winter.
The story is much the same nationwide. Among more than 300 species that the National Audubon Society has data on going back more than 40 years, more than half have shifted their ranges significantly north, some by hundreds of miles.
In a report to be released today, Audubon says its data - collected by thousands of citizen scientists and representing what it calls the longest-running, most comprehensive wildlife survey in the world - are powerful evidence that global warming is having a serious impact on natural systems.
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