Ethical Performance
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Watch the birdie!

December 2013

Researchers at the University of East Anglia have found out why birds are migrating earlier and earlier each year. Experts have long suspected climate change is somehow driving this advancing migration pattern. But new research reveals that individual birds migrate like clockwork – arriving at the same time each year.

However, climate warming is resulting in earlier nesting and hatching earlier each year, and this appears to be linked to the advancing migration. The research team looked at a population of Icelandic black-tailed godwits over 20 years. During this time period, the flock advanced their spring arrival date by two weeks.

Lead researcher Dr Jenny Gill from UEA’s school of Biological Sciences said: “Climate change is likely to be driving this change because godwits nest earlier in warmer years, and birds that hatch earlier will have more time to gain the body condition needed for migration.” 

University of East Anglia | UK & NI Ireland | Environment


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