Spring songbird migration changes

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**** Info via Environment Canada

Spring songbird migration changes

The songbird sounds of spring may start to arrive earlier in Canada as our climate continues to change.

In their study, Changes in wind assistance for nocturnally migrating bird populations, Cornell Lab ornithology scientists in the US, have projected that climate change may cause stronger winds during some bird’s nocturnal migration period.

Using data from weather radar and extracting wind data from 28 climate-change projections in the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the researchers predict winds from the south will become stronger by the end of the century during spring and fall migration periods.

Nocturnal bird migration as detected by the US weather radar network April 12. Credit: BirdCast

With an assist from stronger tailwinds during spring migration, birds would likely arrive at their northern breeding grounds in better condition and with better odds of survival. However, their fall migration flights into stronger headwinds would drain more energy. If headwinds are too strong, birds may choose not to fly at all on a particular night, throwing off the timing of their migrations.

Scientists concluded that some birds might be able to adapt because the expected wind changes are likely to happen gradually. Current studies also show migratory birds are already adjusting their migration patterns. Under current conditions, these birds are altering their headings to compensate for winds that push them from their intended flight path.

For more: BirdCast


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