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Climate disruption to UK seasons causes problems for migratory birds
Environment World News

Climate disruption to UK seasons causes problems for migratory birds

Migratory birds, especially those long-distance travellers that winter in sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling with the effects of climate change. Specifically, the trend towards earlier springs is causing problems, because when they arrive at their usual time – between mid-April and early May – nature’s calendar has shifted forwards and spring is almost over.

This is a particular problem for three species that travel from west Africa to breed in British oakwoods: the wood warbler, the redstart and the pied flycatcher. This trio feed their young on oak moth caterpillars, but when spring comes early these have already emerged and are beginning to pupate, so the chicks starve.

This year, however, the birds have faced the opposite problem. Spring 2024 has been so wet and cool that many of the birds have not yet reached the combes and valleys of western Britain. Those that have arrived are having to search for food in unseasonably chilly weather before they can even think about nesting.

This is the sinister paradox of the climate crisis. It does not just affect nature through long-term shifts in weather patterns, but also causes unpredictability, so that one spring may be hot and dry and the next one cold and wet.

Humans may complain about this but we can at least take steps to cope. Spare a thought for the birds and other wild creatures that have no defence against this capricious and unrelenting change.

Source: theguardian.com