Wild Birds being Affected by Global Warming?
When most people think of global warming, they think of the temperatures getting hotter, and natural disasters which have been portrayed by the movies. Few people actually stop to think of all of the other species of animals that will be impacted if global warming continues at it’s current pace.
Wild birds are one group that are becoming increasingly affected by the rise of global warming, due to changes in their habitats and the ways that they gather food. In addition, global warming is affecting migratory birds, who are more frequently becoming confused. In the past, the cold weather was always a clear signal that it was time to head south, however warm spells are resulting in many birds waiting longer before migrating. This can be particularly dangerous, as winter often arrives with a harsh storm, which ends up killing off the birds before they have a chance to head south.
Scientists from the Smithsonian have recently been studying large groups of birds in south east asia, where the effects of global warming are expected to be the most pronounced. Studies have already shown that certain birds are having trouble coping, due to drought and monsoons, which both hinder their ability to find food. Furthermore, global warming is having a negative impact on the plants and wildlife that local birds are accustomed to consuming. With these species quickly vanishing, large flocks of birds are starting to die from starvation. With no easy solution in sight, some scientists are considering setting up programs to manually relocate the birds to better environments.
Further south in Antarctica, scientists have been studying penguins, which are known to live on floating sea ice. As the ice has been melting, the penguins are losing their habitats, and are in some cases, drowning. Only those who are the best swimmers in the pack are able to survive the frigid waters to swim long distances to safety.
Overall, global warming is having a massive impact on every facet of the planet. Whether it be our own local weather systems, or the wild birds around the world, the effects are becoming increasingly noticeable.
For more information on the studies performed by the Smithsonian, visit: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/02/can-birds-survive-climate-change/