More Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere: Back on the Bird Beat

Birds Flee Changing Habitats (ad/sub req.):

Birds and butterflies offer the earliest signs that ecosystems are changing in response to a changing climate, according to Craig Allen, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

“They’re mobile,” said Allen, an expert on the effect of climate change on New Mexico’s environment.

Climate has always changed, Allen said. The problem now is the speed at which the change is happening, he said. While birds and butterflies can pick up and move in response to changing temperatures, all the trees and grasses that make up an ecosystem cannot adapt so quickly to change, he said, and there is great uncertainty about what will happen as a result.

As New Mexico warms, Allen said, change “is going to happen in ways that we cannot predict.”

One Comment

  1. We saw a magnificent hummingbird (actual species name) in southern Colorado last July, far north of the previous northern extent of the Gila. (These hummers are 2-3 times bigger than most.) We have a curve-billed thrasher nesting in our cholla; there are several within blocks. Mer first saw them here a few years ago. The drift brings in new species as the old move north. peace, mjh

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