A new study found that many bird species are nesting and laying their eggs almost a month earlier than usual. The onset of spring has changed drastically due to climate change and the warming of the planet.
Source: FOX 32 Chicago/Youtube
The study analyzed nesting trends for 72 species of birds around the Chicago area. They tested the egg samples and found that a third of the species are nesting significantly earlier than they did the year prior. Amongst those birds include bluejays, yellow warblers, and field sparrows who are not laying their eggs around 25 days earlier than they did 100 years ago.
The heating of the atmosphere and our inability to move towards renewable energy sources quickly has been devastating for environments and ecosystems all over the world. The warming trends on earth are to blame for the change in nesting trends that once, people thought were unshakeable.
The researchers build a model that found that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is likely correlated to birds moving up their nesting dates. Obviously, birds don’t’ have calendars. They rely on the developments in spring and look for when plants start to bloom, and insect numbers increase. Therefore, the increase in temperature and the early onset of spring is moving these nesting dates up.
Birds are not the only animals that this is happening to. Bears in the United States also emerge from winter hibernation much earlier than they were years ago. Trees are also blooming much earlier than they once did.
Source: National Geographic/Youtube
John Bates, curator of birds at the Field Museum and the study’s lead author, told the Guardian, “If you’re a bird and you nest earlier, you put yourself at risk of these cold snaps that can still arrive in spring, which then affects the plants and insects. That then impacts the reproductive success of the birds. Springs are becoming more volatile and that is taking its toll.”
Bird populations have been declining significantly in recent years. A study found that 3 billion birds have disappeared across the US and Canada since 1970. Birds are necessary for healthy and thriving ecosystems, and we need to do everything in our power to help them thrive. The first step is to combat climate change and stop the planet from warming.
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