Study: Climate Change Altering Bird Migration

Feb 27, 2012

There's more evidence that climate change is altering bird migration patterns. A new study from UNC-Chapel Hill finds some species along the east coast are migrating three-to-six days earlier than they were just ten years ago. Allen Hurlbert is an assistant professor of biology at UNC. He says birds face problems if they get the timing wrong.

Allen Hurlbert: Individuals arriving too early may face adverse conditions weather-wise, they may arrive and there are very limited resources there for them to eat. But individuals that arrive too late, they may face disadvantages in establishing breeding territories or finding high quality mates.

Hurlbert says the study also found some species are better at adapting than others. He says species that struggle to adjust could face threats to their populations.