As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 27 November 2015

Graduate students explore the effect climate change has on local bird populations

By Aaron Hilf — November 17, 2015

Two University of New Mexico alumni have discovered that our changing climate is having a serious impact on population size and reproductive success of several bird species found around Albuquerque. Corrie Borgman and Kirsten Cruz-McDonnell graduated with master’s degrees from UNM’s Department of Biology in 2015, using this research for their theses.

The longtime friends had been looking into the connection for years before coming to UNM. The pair worked for the nonprofit, Envirological Services, and were contracted by the federal government to monitor and study the wildlife at Kirtland Air Force Base.

For years, Borgman and Cruz-McDonnell collected data on two bird species, the loggerhead shrike and the burrowing owl. They looked at population size as well as several reproductive factors, like nest success, the number of nests formed, the amount chicks hatched, and the timing of reproductive activity. After completing several reports for the Air Force, the two started noticing the impact their work could have.

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