Hungry birds as climate change drives food ‘mismatch’

Warmer springs create a mismatch where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows

With continued spring warming expected due to climate change, scientists say hatching of forest birds will be increasingly mismatched with peaks in caterpillar numbers.

The researchers, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the universities of Sheffield, Exeter, and Edinburgh, used data collected across the UK – largely by citizen scientists – to study spring emergence of oak tree leaves and caterpillars, and timing of nesting by three bird species: blue tits, great tits and pied flycatchers.

The Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).

Dr Karl Evans, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: “Our work suggests that as springs warm in the future, less food is likely to be available for the chicks of insectivorous (insect eating) woodland birds, unless evolution changes their timing of breeding.”

read the full story and access the research paper here

related content:

Our research
Gardening for birds and wildlife
Helping baby birds

via SongBird Survival | Blog | Hungry birds as climate change drives food ‘mismatch’

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s