Help Protect Great Tits, Fight Global Warming, Scientists Say (With Pictures)

This is a post about birds. What did you expect?

Researchers have found that at least one species of bird is coping well with global warming in the UK: Great Tits. They are laying their eggs earlier in the spring to better synchronize with the arrival of caterpillars. But the Great Tits in the Netherlands haven't been able to adjust, so this seems to be a local phenomenon. Many Great Tits could be affected.

"The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) commented that other species are likely to fare much worse than great tits as temperatures rise."

It is not yet clear why Great Tits in the UK are doing that well, but finding out the reason why is very important to further our understanding of how animals will adapt to climate change.

The great tits are laying eggs now about two weeks earlier in the year than they were 47 years ago.

The timing is crucial, because for the two-week period after they hatch, the chicks have to gobble down huge quantities of winter moth caterpillars which only emerge for a short period.

And great tit babies are pretty voracious. Each breeding pair usually has 8-9 of them per brood, and each will eat about 70 caterpillars a day.

Birds
::Common Eco-Myth: Wind Turbines Kill Birds
::Cats More Lethal to Birds Than Wind Turbines
::Migratory Bird Flyways And Off-Shore Wind Farms:- A Co-Evolutionary Overlap
More Great Tits
::Great tits cope well with warming
::Great Tit at RSPB
::Great Tit at Wikipedia

Tags: Animals | Birds

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