Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tatarstan skylark Bird Climate Change

Birds are detail well-suited to move as conditions vary. Somewhere mysterious in their DNA is a memory of changes in the past and how to deal with those changes. Four articles have appeared lately reminding us that birds are fully able of responding to change in climate.

Europeans have been observing bird demeanor for centuries, and in the Volga-Kama region of the Tatarstan Republic of Russia, observations go back to 1811 AD. The Tatarstan skylarks migrate south for the winter and their return is a conventional harbinger of spring in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe.

A team of scientists from Tatarstan Republic and the United Kingdom analyzed the long record of return dates of the skylark and discovered that they have been arriving earlier and earlier over the past three decades (11 days earlier since the late 1970s). Askeyev et al. showed that the veer in bird behavior happened when the March air temperatures in the region have increased by 3.7ÂșC. The climate changes, the birds react. C’est la vie. We note that the birds don’t seem to be victims of changes in temperature – they’ve suitably adapted their behavior to fit ever-changing conditions.

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