Climate change fundamentally affecting European birds, study shows

Researchers have found that European birds such as garden warblers, are having a quarter fewer chicks, which has huge implications for the species. Chiffchaffs are laying their eggs 12 days earlier. Some birds are decreasing in size, while others, such as redstarts, are getting larger.

(The guardian)

Scientists have been trying to figure out if the birds in Europe are getting affected by global warming. Researchers looked at about 60 species of birds which are showing abnormalities in mating patterns, morphology and number of offspring. According to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), it is evident that more than half of these abnormalities are a direct effect of global warming. Other factors are– urbanization, habitat loss etc, but warming is likely the largest factor. 

“For example, climate change caused chiffchaffs to lay their eggs six days earlier over the last 50 years, but other unknown environmental factors led to an additional six days, meaning in total they now lay their eggs 12 days earlier than they did half a century ago”, said Martijn van de Pol, lead author of the paper from James Cook University in Australia.