Generally it would be an insult to call someone a bird brain. We may need to revise that thinking. In contrast to climate change denialists, 177 species of migratory birds in North America have adjusted their migrations because of a warming climate. The birds know something the denialists don’t.
The news comes from the National Audubon Society, after analysis of 40 years of bird count data.
Migrations has the story, along with the map that is appearing in U.S. newspapers this week. Cornell University’s ornithology blog, Round Robin, provides history to the study and a couple more links to science reports.
How will denialists spin this? It’s difficult for them to claim that the birds have been hornswoggled by inaccurate newspaper accounts, since these are not the birds whose cages are lined with newspapers.
We don’t have a canary in a mine warning us, this time. It’s the meadowlark on the prairie. Will we listen, in time?
Eastern and Western Meadowlark: These popular robin-sized grassland birds form winter flocks and always feed on the ground. Neither species has been wintering farther north over the past 40 years, probably because the quality of northern grasslands is not sufficient to support these birds through the winter. The Eastern Meadowlark is one of Audubon’s Common Birds in Decline; its population has plummeted 72% in population over the last 40 years.