Posted on: 04 Apr 2016
A new study has confirmed that common birds are powerful indicators of the threat from climate change across the northern hemisphere.
From Europe to North America, combined data shows coherent and substantial changes in detriment to cold-adapted species undergoing the processes of climate change.
A common sight in many gardens, Eurasian Wren, cocking its short, stubby tail and flitting from twig to twig, is known for its restless nature – many readers will be familiar with the rapid chittering of its alarm call, a remarkably loud voice for such a small bird. According to new research published today in the journal Science, the tiny brown bird is sending a bigger message, one that makes its restlessness certainly seem more apt.
An international team of researchers, led by Durham University and including scientists from the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and BirdLife International, found that populations of bird species expected to do well due to climate change had substantially outperformed those expected to do badly over a 30-year period from 1980 to 2010.
The study shows that common bird populations in Europe and North America are messengers of climate change, as they are strongly responding to alterations in temperatures. Winter Wren (the North American equivalent of Eurasian) and American Robin, which are seen in gardens or local woodlands are precious indicators of their ecosystems and of our planet’s climate.