Birds apparently can’t outfly climate change

From Duke University , another Durban doozy, yes we’ll have roasted fowl in the trees because they may not be moving fast enough.

The solution to this crisis may be insulated bird houses with weatherization, funded by government climate funds and the new 100 billion Green Climate Fund proposed by transient Durbanites. This will also help the employment crisis, because an army of people will be needed to climb trees and move the houses for the birds and climate change races on /sarc

Climate change driving tropical birds to higher elevations

DURHAM, N.C. — Tropical birds are moving to higher elevations because of climate change, but they may not be moving fast enough, according to a new study by Duke University researchers.

The study, published Thursday in the peer-reviewed online journal PLoS ONE, finds that the birds aren’t migrating as rapidly as scientists previously anticipated, based on recorded temperature increases.

The animals instead may be tracking changes in vegetation, which can only move slowly via seed dispersal.

“This is the first study to evaluate the effects of warming on the elevation ranges of tropical birds,” said Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of conservation ecology at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and a co-author of the study. “It provides new evidence of their response to warming, but also shows there is a delay in their response.”

Evidence from temperate areas, such as North America and Europe, shows that many animal and plant species are adapting to climate change by migrating northward, breeding earlier or flowering earlier in response to rising temperatures.

“However, our understanding of the response of tropical birds to warming is still poor,” said German Forero-Medina, a Ph.D. student at Duke’s Nicholas School who is lead author of the new study. “Moving to the north doesn’t help them, because tropical temperatures do not change very much with latitude. So moving up to higher elevations is the only way to go, but there are few historical data that can serve as baselines for comparison over time.”

What is going on with tropical species at higher altitudes is important, Forero-Medina said, because about half of all birds species live 3,500 feet or more above sea level, and of these species, more than 80 percent may live within the tropics.

In 2010, the authors of the new study and a team of biologists participated in an expedition to the summit of the remote Cerros del Sira mountains in central Peru – a place visited by only a few ornithologists on prior occasions. The complex topography, geology and climate of the mountains have produced isolated patches of habitat with unique avian communities and distinct taxa.

Forero-Medina and his colleagues used survey data collected on bird species in the region in the 1970s by John Terborgh, research professor emeritus at Duke, to compare past and present distributions.

“Using John Terborgh’s groundbreaking data — the first ever collected from this region –gave us a unique opportunity to understand the effects of 40 years of warming on tropical birds,” Forero-Medina says.

The biologists found that although the ranges of many bird species have shifted uphill since Terborgh’s time, the shifts fell short of what scientists had projected based on temperature increases over the four decades.

“This may be bad news,” Pimm said. “Species may be damned if they move to higher elevations to keep cool and then simply run out of habitat. But, by staying put, they may have more habitat but they may overheat.”

###

CITATION: “Elevational Ranges of Birds on a Tropical Montane Gradient Lag Behind Warming Temperatures” German Forero-Medina, John Terborgh, S. Jacob Socolar & Stuart L. Pimm. PLoS ONE, Dec. 7, 2011.

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142 thoughts on “Birds apparently can’t outfly climate change

  1. I’m incredulous at this statement:
    Pimm said. “Species may be damned if they move to higher elevations to keep cool and then simply run out of habitat. But, by staying put, they may have more habitat but they may overheat.”

    Do you mean to tell me that birds cannot survive a 1-3 degree increase in average temperature after being able to survive millions of years in temperature ranges from 32-110 degrees?

    I cannot even believe that this is a serious statement.

  2. Typical bird brains!

    Why can’t they realize that by flying just a few miles away from the equator, they can experience temperatures that they like, instead of the infernal 0.7 degrees hotter temperatures in the places where there food is growing.

  3. Don’t you love the way these articles implicitly adopt
    the ‘climate change’ = ‘global warming’ mantra?

    Yes it WAS getting warmer, DECADES ago, in SOME places,
    but it was never global, it was never a mere matter of avg temp changing,
    but of changes in seasonal onset, amounts and timing of rain and droughts, etc..

    Whatever USED TO prompt those animals or plants to move is OVER.
    Projecting some grand generalizations on short-term regional biotic changes
    is bad enough, but projecting them into a scorching fantasy-future
    is not science, not even science fiction, just pure climatological fantasy,
    funded by tax-hungry, control-obsessed, power-mad government elites.

  4. Of course, another interpretation would be “birds exploit higher altitudes for the first time in recent memory – higher temperatures have allowed birds to migrate into areas otherwise hostile to them.”

    Glass half full or half empty?

  5. Clearly, the environments in which these animals have adapted are changing, as a result of climate change and land uses which disturb their habitats. This is a serious matter for these creatures and should not be trivialized in any way. Some species will not be able to adapt to dramatically changed environmental conditions, and their existence is threatened. We should all, be concerned with this reality, because it affects everyone.

  6. About as much use as studying “climate change” affecting Hockey game attendance. Who’s paying for this?

    Welfare for Academics.

  7. Strange? According to Sir David Attenborough last night on Frozen Planet, he openly admitted that nature was “adapting” to Climate Change, but the question he posed was could we? So if HE says nature is adapting, then I guess it must be, clever old Mother Nature, no wonder she has lasted 4,500 million years, & we only a couple of million tops!

    This stuff reminds me of reports by the UK’s RSPB a few years ago, (forgive, if this is a repeat) that AGW was reducing bird populatons around the UK. Then it turned out “quietly” that local bird populations of Sparrows, Hedge & Common, Starlings, Thrushes, etc, were the victims of habitat destruction from people concreting over their gardens to make them convenient to maintain or to park a car(s) off-road out front, tree removel by Local Authorities (Councils) for safety reasons & reducing maintenance costs, & on top of that, the feral cat population was increasing, thus reducing the chances of birds to survive! We have an abundance of wild life & bird populations down here in the South West in Cream Tea country (Devon), I have plenty of trees on my small area of land (1/4 acre) shrubs & bushes, that the birds just love! The urban garden these days is not good for birds in lots of cases, barring parks & formal gardens, etc! Yet another case of wrongful attribution to suit the warmistas!

    Off Topic – I had to attend a site inspection visit for some trial pits for a client for a new-build bespoke timber framed house/studio/workshop last Tuesday! It was interesting to listen to the geotech guy talking about the beautiful red (oxidised haemetite)/grey (un-oxidised haematite)Triassic head clays we excavated (not me personally of course – that wouldn’t do! :-)) how the clay was over 200 million years old, & it was only a metre & a half below ground level!! Makes you think, doesn’t it?

  8. Good night. Maybe they are not migrating because it is not getting hotter. Or did I miss something.

  9. Last time I had seen logic this good was “If she weighed the same as a duck…”

    1. The temp. changes are not what they think they are.

    2. The birds really don’t care about a few tenths of a degree temp change.

    3. Got to get back to work and reading this non-sense makes my head hurt.

  10. “The animals instead may be tracking changes in vegetation, which can only move slowly via seed dispersal.”

    Follow the food.

  11. Warning: Sarcasm Ahead !

    Then, again, it may NOT be bad news. Certainly it would be bad news if they lost funding because they didn’t include bogus and extraneous AGW claims in their paper or press release,

    Hmmm a whole 49 meters versus “expected” 152 meters elevation shift ? That sounds pretty thin – like within normal variability range just like the likely trivial increase in temperature. A grand total of one transect in which case, how would they KNOW anything about variability ? Call me skeptical on N = 1. How many of these scientists don’t understand elementary sampling theory required to draw particular conclusions ? FAIL !

    Wait for it — “33 species moved up, versus 15 that moved down” . Presumably the species that moved downslope were immediately incinerated due to the purported 0.79°C warming.

  12. I have never seen birds (other than overcrowded chickens/turkeys) die and fall to the ground, due to warmth. I have, however, one -40 F day, observed sparrows and chickadees, drop one by one, to the ground due to the killing cold. Warming is a pleasant walk in the park. GK

  13. Maybe the scientists have the wrong temperatures and it really didn’t heat up as much so the birds didn’t move up as much. This brings us to a whole new proxy. Lets build a proxy for climate based on the changing altitude of bird habitat.

  14. > Eric Seufert says: “Lets build a proxy for climate based on the changing altitude of bird habitat.”

    I LIKE it – a lot ! Wait ….how can we use it to get paleo data accurate to .01 degree though ?

  15. If this is what passes for “peer reviewed” science these days then science is in big trouble. What an absolute load of nonsense. I can only assume that thousands of birds die every morning when the sun comes up. Pathetic drivel.

  16. Population and/or predator (rats and cats in particular) pressures are more likely to have to do with this shift, if there really is a shift, then the less then one degree warming shown by a couple of thermometers next to air conditioning units at the UEA.
    Of course a bird that is used to feed on certain plants is not going to move further then he has to. Uphill or downhill. So if there is a real shift of any kind it will be a slow one. Otherwise he will die, not of a heatstroke but of hunger.
    Why is everything these days explained as “caused by rising temperatures”?
    What happened to good old common sense?

  17. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I really do hope for your sake that you are trying to take the piss?

  18. “The study, published Thursday in the peer-reviewed online journal PLoS ONE”

    Is this supposed to mean the study was peer reviewed or the journal is peer reviewed?

    Or is it a play on words to infer the study is peer reviewed when it is not?

  19. Jimmy Haigh says:
    December 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Hugh Pepper says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I really do hope for your sake that you are trying to take the piss?

    Probably not, but it is even worse than most of his drivel – so I could be wrong.
    Animals adapt very well. The Potomac and Chesapeake Bay are supporting large and growing populations of Bald Eagles and Osprey. Polar Bear populations recovered from their over-hunted low. The examples go on and on. All that is necessary for them to succeed is for us to stop killing them.
    Want these birds to survive in a world of changing climate? Great, do something about the feral cat population and don’t let your cats out at night. Done.

  20. “Moving to the north doesn’t help them, because tropical temperatures do not change very much with latitude. So moving up to higher elevations is the only way to go, but there are few historical data that can serve as baselines for comparison over time.” – sounds like a license to create your assumptions and bias’ from whole clothe!

  21. This is just my highly unqualified observation, but it seems that every year when we are about to have a terrible winter here in Texas, (terrible for Texas, that is) our backyards fill up with Cardinals (no, not Spanish Inquisition Cardinals, which would indeed be unexpected), who seem to be fleeing more northerly climes. Normally, we don’t see Cardinals here, especially in our summer, but somehow these little birds must be far more adaptable (or more clever) than their tropical counterparts, flying from the Wisconsin region just to see us in Northern Texas.
    @TomB : This article should help: http://style.org/unladenswallow/

  22. The general ‘sense’ ( if that is the right word) is that the migration northwards represents the birds ‘fleeing’ to cooler climes where life will be more bearable. Actually what is happening is that the birds follow the food. Earlier flowering means earlier seeds/fruit; spread of vegetation northwards decreases competition for food as the mass of vegetation increases; quantity of food increases as the plants migrate; seed/fruit production begins earlier and lasts longer.
    Birds have been around for a long, long time, and I guess they have survived – just maybe – by adapting to the conditions.
    This year, in the UK, several bird species raised multiple broods because of the abundance of food and the clement weather, migration from Scandinavia was delayed – not because it was too hot further south, but because there was no need to migrate whilst food supplies and good weather lasted.
    And maybe that ‘delay in their response’ happens to be equal to the delay in propagation of the particular plants they feed off.

  23. The new and improved turbo diesel KFC burger with pre-heat igniton. What a flavor burst in my mouth. The climate of my appetite just went into hockey overdrive.

  24. How many millions of years have birds been around? 100 million or so? I think the birds have got it figured out by now. $hit happens. Deal with it.

  25. This article fails to mention that plants are living organisms, too. Their ranges will shift in response to the abiotic factors influencing them and the local habitat/ecosystem will shift in response. There could be an increase or decrease in area. It really doesn’t matter. The changes won’t be overnight and all the organisms in the area will adapt.

  26. “However, our understanding of the response of tropical birds to warming is still poor,” said German Forero-Medina, a Ph.D. student .

    No kidding! What makes these clowns think that tropical birds cannot handle a range of temperatures. They are warm-blooded (homeotherms) with control of their metabolism. They will go where the plants are that they eat or live off of. The idea that the plants cannot move fast enough to handle climate changes is bogus as they have been through numerous climate changes over the eons and are obviously still here.

    The rampant species extinctions that are predicted have not happened at all – that would be none, nada, zilch, and none. Did I say none?

    Since we are cooling, I would love to see how they measure the upward movement of the birds to higher altitude. Methinks some poor , but grant-funded bias is at work here.

  27. We still haven’t seen an explanation as to why Canadian geese aren’t returning to Canada but rather staying around their southern winter habitat around Delaware.

  28. I wonder when they will ask to ban glass windows.

    I have birds that run into my glass windows about 2 or 3 times a week. We have put all kinds of items on the glass to try to make it clear that it isn’t a passageway but it still happens.

  29. The statements supporting the catastrophic impact of global warming are astounding in their stupidity.

    Has Earth ever been warmer than now? Uh…let’s see. Hmmm. During the past 500 million years, MOST of the time, Earth’s temperature was 6 to 12 C higher than now. So if we’re in a panic over a 1.5C increase in the past 150 years and going another 5C means the end of the world, why isn’t the planet already a sterile rock pile from past ‘catastrophic’ temperatures?

    Oh, wait. I forgot. Those changes were *natural*, while *human-caused* warming will destroy the world. It’s amazing how different human-released CO2 is from *natural* CO2. I guess it’s so dangerous because of all the hot air that accompanies it.

  30. What ever else has changed this ‘research’ reminds that the AGW research funding bucket is still deep and well filled and their are plenty of people wanting to deep into it . While linking yourself into the ’cause ‘ is still seen as good way to advanced your academic career by some .

  31. Last time I checked the birds had those wing thingys that let them get around quite rapidly. But hey, maybe it’s different in Peru. Or maybe they haven’t moved, because nothings changed as far as they’re concerned. Choice is important.

    Still I find that reading the article is much improved if accompanied by this –

  32. Surely these smart birds are moving to higher elevations because the mid and upper tropical troposphere isn’t warming as much as the models predict?

  33. Unless the Ornithologist tied his meaningless research to global warming he wouldn’t have gotten funded. Keeps him/her busy for awhile, but does starve meaningful research of funds.

  34. “The animals instead may be tracking changes in vegetation, which can only move slowly via seed dispersal.”
    Yeah and what is one of the primary ways seed disperse, by being carried by birds. Can you say catch 22?

  35. Hmmm…so it`s “bad news“ if some tropical bird “species may be damned“ because of increasing heat. No word about their temporate relatives survival rates in the shadow of windmills. Hmmmm

    Murray

  36. Oh sure, and lowland deforestation (for all those palms for making palm oil) and urbanization have absolutely nothing to do with this!

  37. Glacierman says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

    “Yes, we have massive die offs every spring when the temps start going up.”

    No we don’t have massive die offs every springtime, that’s when… Oh I see sarcasm again, lol
    :)

  38. Evidence from temperate areas, such as North America and Europe, shows that many animal and plant species are adapting to climate change by migrating northward….

    But, Greengos, the Polar Bears are moving south toward the Antarcteec. All will die at the interface unless you give Meester Bandito $1 treelline for another “study” by meednight! “Thees is a serious matter for thees cre3tures!”

    Vaminos, Teeemnachos! Fast and Furious…..For the Freetos!

  39. World class stupidity.

    And is it my imagination, or does a certain commenter here get paid by the word?

  40. Any human who thinks that life is worth living, and that homo sapiens are most delightful and interesting of animals, must view the extinction of species as something not wholly to be deplored. Humans only evolved because a massive loss of species provided the opportunity.

  41. So this study takes as a baseline a studies done in “the seventies.” Who the hell is disputing that it is a bit warmer now than back in the seventies?

    Seed dispersal? Don’t the seeds go where the birds go? I thought seeds went through the guts of birds, some still whole, and then are deposited, packaged in fertilizer, wherever the bird is…making deposits.

  42. Re; Alan the Brit at 09:43
    And in addition don’t forget the effect on song bird population from the (successful) reintroduction of several avine predators – they aren’t called sparrow hawks for no reason! According to Wiki (but it might still be correct):

    During one year, a pair of Eurasian Sparrowhawks could take 2,200 House Sparrows, 600 Common Blackbirds or 110 Wood Pigeons.[

  43. So the climate hypochondiac’s predictions about the birds are shown to be wrong and their response is to say the birds are wrong. Hubris

  44. LOL, the ad for “Angry Birds” above is appropriate. Maybe that’s how the game was concieved. The hot birds are flung to higher elevations and eventually decend on your house destroying it.

  45. “…It provides new evidence of their response to warming, but also shows there is a delay in their response…”

    Great. Now we’ll start hearing about how some birds are just deniers. We’ll hear the ones who don’t believe in CAW (Catastrophic Avian Warming) being called loons and cucoos, and they’ll wind up going the way of the Dodo or Apteryx (a wingless bird with hairy feathers). /sarc

  46. >>finds that the birds aren’t migrating as rapidly as scientists previously anticipated.<<
    and the problem is with the birds? Sounds more like a problem with the scientists expectations.

  47. So, the chicken crossed the road to get to a warmer climate?

    Is this just another “fowl” climate study?

    I’m just thankful the climate has never changed before, else we would not have as many species of birds as we have now.

    Do we now know the real reason the birds are angry – the climate warmed .7 degrees over the last 100 years!?

  48. This more than likely means that the temperatures are not as high as reported, rather than the birds have somehow become crippled. I might add as a resident of the tropics there has been no die off on the lower regions.

  49. 1. The daily variation in high temperatures from one day to the next is greater than the “signal” from global warming. One day might be 5 degrees hotter than the one before or 5 degrees cooler.

    2. Local climate may not track “global” climate. Just because the “global” climate has changed doesn’t mean the local climate has moved in the same direction or magnitude. Climate change brings with it circulation changes in the atmosphere.

    3. Both warming and cooling are shown to cause changes in very large circulation flows. 5000 years ago when the climate was much warmer than today the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) was nearly 500km North of where it is today. Monsoons were longer and farther North of where they are today. There is evidence of Southward migration of the ICTZ during the LIA and shortening of monsoons. The Great Basin of the US was much wetter until about 2000 years ago when something changed and the current temperature regime set in. The Levant experienced the same at about the same time. So “climate change” on a global basis can certainly change larger circulation pattern. Response to that circulation change isn’t the same. An area that was wetter might now become sunnier and have a higher annual temperature and experience a change in local species. This is well-documented in Africa, for example, where areas that were rainforest became savannah and vice versa.

    4. Climate varies over time, we have empirical evidence of that from several sources. There is NO evidence that WE can do anything to change these evolving patterns or that we CAUSED them. They are fairly well-documented to have happened over the past and seem to generally track changes in solar minima and changes in solar insolation over time.

  50. “This may be bad news,” Pimm said. “Species may be damned if they move to higher elevations to keep cool and then simply run out of habitat. But, by staying put, they may have more habitat but they may overheat.”

    This statement seems incredible. Anyone who has done any mountaineering knows how dramatically temps can very within very few miles across different elevations. I find it difficult to believe that bird species living alongside a mountain range cannot live with the already wide range of temps and habitats present, i.e., the sharp variations in temperature, flora, and micro-climates are already present with or without “climate change.”

  51. Isn’t that region geologically active? Is it possible that the mountains have undergone a few meters uplift in the last 40 years? I tried to look it up but wasn’t hitting the right keywords, apparently

  52. Stuart Pimm – isn’t this the guy who went ballistic over the Skeptical Environmentalist? Including an all-out attack in Nature? (I’ll have to check on this.)

    Now if he were the Doris Day Professor of conservation ecology, that would impress me.

  53. Since birding is my favourite hobby I was interested by this article.
    IMO the conclusion that species may respond to a warming climate by moving to higher elevations cannot be inferred from this study.
    The article presents data for the shft of 55 bird species by 49 m after 41 years at one mountain site in Peru. Although the data is interesting from a conservation point of view, there are several flaws in the study.
    1) The only previous data was obtained 41 years ago.
    2) In both cases the ornotologists used mist nest to capture the birds and their study was done during the dry season only.
    3) Land use conversion destroyed some of the lower elevation sites from 1969.
    4) It is difficult to see a range shift in Fig. 2 of their paper except at the lower elevations which would have been most affected by a change in land use
    5) The authors do not discuss the influence of changes in the population of predators citing simply that the land use had not changed (at higher elevations) however this does not mean that other factors which are not necessarily affected by land use such as predation was not involved
    6) Detailed local weather measurements were not available dating back 41 years ago which is crucial in montane environments which known for their variability in weather
    7) Changes in food availability was not studied
    8) There was no information on precipitation changes which can influence bird population shifts
    9) The effect of a potential increase in temperature on the bird species which remained in place was not studied.

  54. Here is the line that I found interesting:

    The biologists found that although the ranges of many bird species have shifted uphill since Terborgh’s time, the shifts fell short of what scientists had projected based on temperature increases over the four decades.

    So, if I am reading this correctly, what they are concerned about is that the expected shift didn’t meet earlier projections. And I would ask, “So? ” The first deduction I would make from that finding is “Well, our predictions were wrong, so lets look at our assumptions and see where we were in error.” Instead, these guys seem to have determined that there is something wrong with the birds and because of that, their survival may be threatened. Someone above is correct – this really belongs as an Onion story and not a University Press Release.

  55. As I explained to a student this week, the discussion on climate change has in some ways “sucked the oxygen” out of the discussion room other explanations for changes in bird populations and range.

    Loss of habitat is also responsible for population decreases of several species. However, it can be localized in scope, is observable and depending on the circumstances can benefit be habitat mitigation efforts. Depending on the species, steps such as timing when meadows, hayfields or highways right-of-ways are mowed, the presence of artificial nesting cavities, the control of non-native bird species and the like can have noticeable positive effects in as little as 2-3 years.

    Unfortunately climate change has for some people become the only explanation that matters. There’s more to changes in bird populations and range than climate change. In this area, the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer is going to have an impact on bird populations in the next 3-5 years.

  56. Hmmmmm….. What would Darwin call this?
    Natural selection leading to natural evolution, as a result of natural climate change.
    Just the way God intended…..

  57. Right now I’m watching a set of 20 quail who favor my tiny yard. Temperature is 27F. The quail are foraging, making that wonderful little burble-noise that says “We’re all here… we’re all here…”

    Back in July the same set of quail were foraging in 93F, making that wonderful little burble-noise that says “We’re all here… we’re all here…”

    I hate to think what will happen when they have to adapt to a range of daytime temps from 29 to 95 instead of 27 to 93! They’ll roast for sure.

    The real problem, of course, is that modern “scientists” have never heard of negative feedback. All their theories work beautifully on linear stuff like stainless steel bars, but fail on living things.

  58. This paper is a real can of worms. First, the temperature is supposed to have risen 0.79 degrees C between 1969 and 2010. Pretty exact eh? Particularly for an isolated mountain in the Amazon with no weather stations nearby. So where does it come from? From a gridded climate database called CRU TS 2.1. Now where did I hear that before? Oh now I remember: “Harry_read_me”.

    Then the original raw data indicated that the birds had moved 92 +- 21.5 meters uphill, but this figure was “adjusted” for the different number of birds caught in 1969 and 2010 to 49 +- 17.3 meters. Now that is a pretty big adjustment, something like 45 % as a matter of fact. The adjustment may be statistically sound, the description is too vague to be certain, but there sure as hell is no way that the uncertainty of an “adjusted” number can be smaller than that of the original data. Nor can you ever hope to measure the altitudinal range of a bird with a precision of 0.1 meter (= 0.00053 degrees, if the lapse rate is really as low as 0.53 degrees/100 as they claim)

    Finally they seem to have missed just why Terborgh chose to study this isolated mountain with a very impoverished montane avifauna. It was because since it was isolated no invasion of competing highland birds was possible, so it was possible to determine the importance of competition relative to other factors that affect bird distribution (such as climate) by comparing it with an avifauna in the main Andes. Terborgh incidentally found that competition was very important for altitudinal distribution.
    In the paper they state: “Land use conversion had destroyed some of the lower elevation sites from 1969”. Now what does that mean? That there can be no invasion of lower altitude forest bird species when temperatures rise (if they do) and consequently no particular reason for the montane birds to move upward.

    The authors have made a very simple and unfortunately very common mistake, They believe that organisms are unable to live outside the exact range that they are found in today. This is almost never true. In most cases the ranges are influenced by humans (by cutting down the lowland forests for example) or by competition from other organisms, and by a myriad of other factors in addition to climate.

  59. Could it be that rising CO2 is causing increased plant growth in the birds’ current environment, hence increased food directly for the birds that are herbivores and indirectly for birds that feed on insects (that feed on plants)? As said by others above, the birds will be found where their food is found.

    Just as with tree ring proxies that turn out to correlate better with water availability than temperature, the location of birds may correlate with any of the factors related to availability of food.

  60. Total hog wash.

    I spend much time in the tropics in the middle of a big bird resort and I haven’t observed any of the claimed events.
    Besides that there is no change in temperatures.

    Yet another University to blacklist. Don’t send your kids there.
    They will be turned into eco nazi’s and hunt you for the remainder of your life (LOL)

  61. I feel quite certain that in the Little Ice Age, the birds were at lower altitudes…and still, might have been colder than 40 years ago.

    I feel the same way about the Holocene Optimum of 6,000 to 8,000 years ago, the warmest period of our interglacial (even Michael Mann hasn’t gotten around to trying to pretend otherwise). Of course in that time frame, the birds were likely far higher up the mountains, just as the Arctic appears to have been nearly ice free for small parts of the summer at that time, as previously reported in WUWT, but not in the W Post or NY Times or CBC or ABC or CNN…..

  62. finds that the birds aren’t migrating as rapidly as scientists previously anticipated, based on recorded temperature increases.
    =====================================
    So then it’s obviously the birds fault…..since those recorded temp increases are so accurate

    …..wonder if the birds found Mr. T’s missing heat?

  63. “However, our understanding of the response of tropical birds to warming is still poor,” said German Forero-Medina, a Ph.D. student at Duke’s Nicholas School who is lead author of the new study. “Moving to the north doesn’t help them … “

    Perhaps someone should show this particular PhD student a globe. They may then understand (although I am making an assumption) that ‘North’ is not always away from the equator.

  64. The biologists found that although the ranges of many bird species have shifted uphill since Terborgh’s time, the shifts fell short of what scientists had projected based on temperature increases over the four decades.

    “This may be bad news,” Pimm said.

    Yah think it may because things have not warmed enough to make any difference to these birds? Just maybe? Oh, no, of course not. It means they are all going to die!

  65. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Clearly, the environments in which these animals have adapted are changing, as a result of climate change and land uses which disturb their habitats. This is a serious matter for these creatures and should not be trivialized in any way. Some species will not be able to adapt to dramatically changed environmental conditions, and their existence is threatened. We should all, be concerned with this reality, because it affects everyone.

    I prefer to stay in the ‘real’ reality, not an imagined one like this guy is hyperventilating about.

  66. To timg56
    What they really are saying is: since the study outcome was, lucky for us, not as expected we need more time, sorry that is money, to continue our “scientific” research. The next report will also be littered with unexpected results, which will lead to the need for more studies to come to a better “understanding” why birds don’t want to move up the mountain as fast as the researchers want them to go.
    And the gravy train keeps on rolling. All aboard, all aboard.

  67. Climate Scientists to birds…. “Yer Doing It Wrong”!

    Or

    “Birds, Natures Feathered Deniers!”

    Of course, it doesn’t seem to occur to them that maybe their predictions and expectations of what the birds SHOULD DO are in error. Maybe the birds as a collective have done exactly what is necessary and don’t need to do anything more. Maybe this proves that birds, even with their little compact brain, are none-the-less smarter than the average climate scientist.

  68. After careful reading of the peer reviewed study, I think the author is suggesting that coconuts migrate.

  69. Classic ‘Conservation Biology’ BS. To reiterate, as i have here too many times already…. I know it may be difficult to imagine but this post-normal model based “mission oriented” (missionary) pseudoscience is WORSE than AGW Climastology.

    So “there are few historical data that can serve as baselines for comparison over time.”

    That is misleading in the first place but, if that was the problem, then shouldn’t they have done this study where there most the most historical data available?

    So where did they go?

    “to the summit of the remote Cerros del Sira mountains in central Peru – a place visited by only a few ornithologists on prior occasions.”

    Now why would they go there? Why not go where the most data was available? Oh yes, academic politics for starters. There was “survey data collected on bird species in the region in the 1970s by John Terborgh, research professor emeritus at Duke.” His “groundbreaking data — the first ever collected from this region.”

    Read carefully. See the word “region”? Used twice?

    “Since 1973 Terborgh has operated Cocha Cashu Biological Station, a tropical ecology research station in Manú National Park, Peru.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Terborgh

    Follow the links to see where that is, in this “region.” So we are supposed to believe that his data was sufficient to base this comparison on? LOL.

    “the shifts fell short of what scientists [= junk models] had projected”

    And this just speaks for itself:

    “This may be bad news,” Pimm said. “Species may be damned if they move to higher elevations to keep cool and then simply run out of habitat. But, by staying put, they may have more habitat but they may overheat.”

    Recently we had a reasonable sounding guest post here from Professor Robert G. Brown of Duke University (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/02/foia-is-not-enough-why-not-legally-mandate-transparency-in-climate-research-a-modest-proposal/).

    I think he needs to start in his own back yard and extend his ideas to the junk pseudoscience conveniently named Conservation Biology.

  70. RaymondT says:
    December 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I think RaymondT has opened the lid on this can of wriggling bird food.

    When the students of Duke University are tired of Peru there is a big opportunity for some funded research down to one of Australia’s biggest hidden gems – Lord Howe island – an isolated volcanic island paradise 400 miles North East of Sydney which has been the home of over 200 species of birds for thousands of years.

    But of late the birds have been moving. And so has the unique phasmid, otherwise known as Dryococelus australis or a land lobster or stick insect and possibly the rarest insect in the world:

    By 1930 the early human settlers on the Lord Howe Island noticed that the phasmid had completely disappeared. Not one was ever found again – that is until 2001 when by chance an expedition onto nearby Ball’s Pyramid – a majestic rock rising out of the ocean – found a small population under a single Melaleuca shrub:

    Thanks to the phasmid’s determined will to survive and a magnificent rescue effort by a team of intrepid scientists, they are now being rebred in a controlled habitat on Lord Howe Island through the Natural Heritage Trust.

    But what caused their close call to extinction? Was it global warming? Was it the rising sea levels? Or was it the voracious black rats which inhabited the island when the supply ship SS Makambo ran aground in 1918?

    And is it more likely that the tropical birds from central Peru are fleeing from one of the 600 species of reptiles or chinchillas or foxes or even the invasive rat? We do know that the Peru had the highest incidence of bubonic plague in the world.

    Perhaps after Lord Howe, Duke University could do a study to find out whether rats are threatening Peruvian bird populations? Or is global warming much more fashionable?

  71. G. Karst says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I have never seen birds (other than overcrowded chickens/turkeys) die and fall to the ground, due to warmth. I have, however, one -40 F day, observed sparrows and chickadees, drop one by one, to the ground due to the killing cold. Warming is a pleasant walk in the park. GK

    ==========================================================================

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/thousands-of-birds-die-in-sweltering-heat/story-e6frg12c-1111118551504

  72. This study seems to be chasing the wrong influence, the birds follow their food supply.
    So, what is their food supply doing ?
    Follow the plant fruits, seeds and insects.

  73. In New Hampshire there is plenty of evidence, if you tramp about in the woods enough, of species shifting north during the MWP, and then south during the Little Ice Age. Some cold-prefering trees, such as sugar maples, were helped south by man, but other warmth-prefering species, such as catbrier and sassafras, made it north on their own, and still hang on in warm enclaves on the south slopes of hills, despite the fact it is too cold for them to live very far north of Cape Cod, under ordinary circumstances.

    If species with roots can make the adjustment to rather dramatic shifts in temperature, it seems likely species with wings can do better.

  74. Lord I hate science and PhD students……

    They didn’t even back track to see if the birds were just returning to where they naturally were…
    …..because the previous cold spell had driven them lower

    Snapshot: Warming world stirs up cold waters : Nature Climate …
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n3/full/nclimate1129.html
    by S Perkins – 2011
    Jun 3, 2011 – Their analysis shows that from 1860, sea surface temperatures off Peru dropped about 1 °C over 90 years. After 1950, the rate of temperature

  75. “birds aren’t migrating as rapidly as scientists previously anticipated, based on recorded temperature increases. ”

    Could that it be the lack of “temperatrue increases” that is keeping the birds from migrating as “previsously anticipated”??

  76. “The animals instead may be tracking changes in vegetation, which can only move slowly via seed dispersal.”
    ——————
    Wait a minute….I thought animals were the main mover for seed dispersal.
    I need to look that up, now where did I learn that?

  77. The 30 – 40 degree temperature swings daily in the California Central valley must then be killing birds right and left.

    Anyone?

  78. This peer-reviewed study all goes to prove the old idiom that “A hand in the bush is worth two birds on the arm.”

  79. “JohnWho says:
    December 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

    So, the chicken crossed the road to get to a warmer climate?”

    No, two spinsters were on a farm when they saw a rooster chasing a chicken. The chicken tried to run across the road but got hit by a car and got killed. One said to the other: “See Esther, she would rather be dead!”

  80. Well then, someone needs to start a campaign to get these birds on board with AGW. Come on social media, come up with some catastrophic commercials geared towards our feathered friends! Maybe some ‘sploding baby bird eggs would help moves things along.

  81. LamontT says:
    December 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    The 30 – 40 degree temperature swings daily in the California Central valley must then be killing birds right and left.

    Anyone?
    LamontT

    I saw a dead pigeon AND squirrel this week. So there you go…. Definitely caused by Global Warming! I mean, what else could have caused it?????

  82. We’ve also had these stupid studies blaming shrinking birds, sheep, etc on global warming.

    I would have thought some of that if correct could be explained on the need for animals not needing to store as much body fat because of more abundant food supply during a natural warming cycle?

  83. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am
    Clearly, the environments in which these animals have adapted are changing, as a result of climate change and land uses which disturb their habitats. This is a serious matter for these creatures and should not be trivialized in any way. Some species will not be able to adapt to dramatically changed environmental conditions, and their existence is threatened. We should all, be concerned with this reality, because it affects everyone.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Very concerning. It could mean the extinction of Pepper Plants … ;-P

  84. Did I read this correctly, studies 40 years apart, with no monitoring of habitat and temperatures in between? How the heck do these so-called scientists know what these birds have been doing in the intervening years! Those birds could have migrated from valley floor to treeline and back many times in the intervening years, doing what birds do – looking for food, mates and nesting areas.

  85. Well, according to GISS and HadCrut (sources which we are told are impeccable) over the last 150 years or so, global “average” temps have gone up by about 1 degree. The study authors might want to note that if you break the tropics out and look at their change in temperature only, it turns out that the tropics have gone up about 0.1 or 0.2 at the most. Maybe the birds aren’t responding to climate change because the climate didn’t change?

    Anthony – I’m not certain that “Durban doozy” has the right ring to it. How about “Durban Myth”?

  86. LexingtonGreen says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:44 am
    “Good night. Maybe they are not migrating because it is not getting hotter. Or did I miss something.”

    Yeah, apparently bird behavior does not count as evidence for temperatures. The scientists worry that the birds have missed the memo about rising temperatures. No doubt birds have defective temperature measurement tools, unlike Michael Mann, or they detect the changes but prefer a high risk lifestyle. Where are the bird houses located?

  87. This is truly the worst paper I have ever seen. Birds migrate on their own time, and they have to migrate in smaller groups as they don’t tax the resources of their own migratory routes. They are not mindless nor stupid, but this paper sure makes them look like they have no survival instincts at all.

  88. Evidence from temperate areas, such as North America and Europe, shows that many animal and plant species are adapting to climate change by migrating northward….

    Yes, the migratory Ducks around here at about 46 degrees North are now paddling around only at the North end of the Lake! While here at the South end on land, I hear that I will still have to deal with the Palm trees and Girls Gone Wild sometime around tomorrow morning. So I’d better say goodbye now, before it’s too late!

    But a least that gigantic Jurassic Bobcat took off North, too, after pausing on my patio a few days ago in broad daylight, leaving 31/2″ prints in something that looks like the pictures I’ve seen of snow, while probably trying to escape the oncoming Climate Refugees, Crocodiles, and some early Pterodactyls, themselves credibly reported by Michael “Meester Bandito” Mann himself to be fleeing the Mosquito hordes, Mexican Killer Bees, and some significant numbers of African American Army Ants worked up into a feeding frenzy by the heat.

    So the evidence from North America is definitely there…it’s not their fault, but we’re doooomed I tell you! Goodbye, all.

  89. The diurnal temperature changes are greater than the feared alarmist change. Animals follow the food and keep cool, if necessary, by other means like bathing in rivers or pools as can be seen being done by birds in ones own garden birdbath.

    A point proving, but failing, paper.

  90. The birds are migrating to higher altitudes? Oh no! They’ll be pining for the Fjords even more now!

  91. G. Karst says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I have never seen birds (other than overcrowded chickens/turkeys) die and fall to the ground, due to warmth. I have, however, one -40 F day, observed sparrows and chickadees, drop one by one, to the ground due to the killing cold. Warming is a pleasant walk in the park. GK
    =====================
    actually a week or more of 40C temps and a drought you will see sparrows and finches and other birds falling off their perches and dying, it does happen in Aus, if theres any water and a bit of shade around they seem to manage ok.

  92. “The biologists found that although the ranges of many bird species have shifted uphill since Terborgh’s time, the shifts fell short of what scientists had projected based on temperature increases over the four decades.”
    —————
    The birds have shifted exactly as much as required to respond to all changes in their environment, temperature being only one factor. They figure this out on their own, and the survivors have by definition come up with the right answer. The scientists’ “projections” are simply wrong. The only valid conclusion to draw from the study is the models used to make the projections are not useful.

    Meanwhile, back in the world of actual observation, escaped/released tropical birds (Monk Parakeets) have managed to survive the winters in Chicago by combining into colonies and building enclosed nests in city park trees. The “climate change” from their native Argentina to Chicago (at least 25 C colder average for the winter) dwarfs anything measured, projected, or even imagined by the IPCC.

    Living organisms adapt to change. Show me a model which predicts that and I’ll start paying attention.

  93. I have a few other “Stop…” signs I would like to mention, just to add to Dita’s post.

    Stop bug bites, let’s go sleevless!!!
    Stop toilet lid up, leave it down!!!
    Stop mornings, let’s just have afternoons!!!
    Stop fat, let’s eat anything we want to goddammit!!!
    Stop hangovers, let’s drink as much as we want!!!
    Stop staff meetings, let’s get something done instead!!!

  94. Hugh Pepper wrote, “Clearly, the environments in which these animals have adapted are changing, as a result of climate change and land uses which disturb their habitats. ”
    Yes, land use changes are the real problem, and, ironically and tragically, some of these land use changes are to grow biofuels such as palm oil. If we humans want to preserve even remnant populations of tropical bird species and other species of the tropical forests, we need to preserve portions of the forests themselves- duh. When friends and I hiked to the top of Table Rock Mountain, SC, about 8 weeks ago and watched hundreds of Broadwing Hawks migrating to their winter home, the tropical forests of northern South America, I wondered if those forest homes would even be there when they arrived. And when we watched dozens of Monarchs flying at eye level to their winter Mexican home, I wodered the same thing. The slight warming of recent decades is a distraction from the real problem of land use change. As a lifelong conservationist and environmental educator, I realize, with some sadness, that we can not preserve all threatened habitats, but, at the very least, we can understand what the real threats are. I sincerely hope Anthony’s readers here do not become alienated from traditional conservationism because of the fear mongering of the green extremists and climate catastrophists.

  95. Birds apparently can’t outfly climate change

    Some birds definitely can’t outfly windmill blades …

  96. SPM says:
    December 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    ozspeaksup says:
    December 9, 2011 at 3:44 am

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/thousands-of-birds-die-in-sweltering-heat/story-e6frg12c-1111118551504

    Read your reference:

    Mr Aroldi said water was an issue at the isolated roadhouse and he had to close down toilets and showers after tourists had emptied the water tanks turning on a tap to try to save the birds.

    DEC officers said they could not rule out water contamination as a possible cause of death, but believe it is unlikely.

    As I read it, the birds were there because of shade and water. The water ran out, the adult birds left, the immature birds stayed and perished. Like all animals water is the critical factor.

    As in human reality… the foolish young birdbrains perish.
    The wise old bird lives to breed the females, sip the nectar.
    Stupidity kills, always has. GK

  97. Hugh Pepper says:
    December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Clearly, the environments in which these animals have adapted are changing, as a result of climate change and land uses which disturb their habitats. This is a serious matter for these creatures and should not be trivialized in any way. Some species will not be able to adapt to dramatically changed environmental conditions, and their existence is threatened. We should all, be concerned with this reality, because it affects everyone.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    BULLOCKS!

    Animals and plants have been adapting for millions of years to temperature swings of 10C or more.

    The real killer that is actually catastrophic to ALL higher life forms on this planet is a DECREASE of CO2 below the level that plants need. That level seems to be in the 180 to 250 PPM range and the planet was getting very close to that range by binding up the available carbon in ways that plants can not use.

    For what it is worth, I just had two kids born this morning. That means the TEMPERATURE and SUNLIGHT was similar to September (Rut season for deer and goats) in JULY! The gestation period is 131 days for goats. High temperatures make buck goats and rams infertile. I live in central North Carolina were normal temps are 90 -100F in July. This out of season lambing and kidding has become “Common” over the last few years BTW.

  98. ADDENDUM to last post.

    I am very tempted to drive up to Duke and dump these two buck kids on Stuart Pimm’s desk and asking him to explain their existence!

  99. Doug Allen says:
    December 9, 2011 at 6:58 am

    …..As a lifelong conservationist and environmental educator, I realize, with some sadness, that we can not preserve all threatened habitats, but, at the very least, we can understand what the real threats are. I sincerely hope Anthony’s readers here do not become alienated from traditional conservationism because of the fear mongering of the green extremists and climate catastrophists.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Actually many of us are traditional conservationists in mind set and that is why we are so ANGRY!

    On my farm I have barred owls, grey fox, a bear, bobcats, bluebirds, blue heron, red tail hawks and I even had the privilege of seeing a bald eagle sitting on a pole just down the road.

    The buying up of African, South American and soon USA farmland to plant eucalyptus, including a genetically modified variety that withstands freezing, has me frothing at the mouth because it will wreck the ecology of the areas. It is considered a “Weed” in the USA. (Never mind the starvation problem caused by planting farmland in a difficult to kill tree.)

    Eucalptus oil “misted from the trees” kills undergrowth plants except for poison oak and even a goat will not eat it.

    EVILS of transplanting Eucalptus to Africa
    SEE: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/25/they-had-to-burn-the-village-to-save-it-from-global-warming/#comment-754959

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/13/borlaug-2-0/#comment-767559

  100. This study is online at –> http://tinyurl.com/cnw6y42

    ‘Land use conversion had destroyed some of the lower elevation sites from 1969. The 2010 survey did not have time to survey two sites at 900 m and 1130 m. For comparisons, we only used the data from five sites, at 690 m, 1310 m, 1570 m, 1970 m and 2220 m, sampled on both occasions ‘.

    This truncation of the data, cutting out 2/7ths of the samples in the lower 1/2 of the elevations alone could account for their findings, basic statistics. That is, if the findings were in fact significant — 49 meters? 150 ft? way too close to nothing for me.

  101. G. Karst says:
    December 9, 2011 at 7:55 am

    As I read it, the birds were there because of shade and water. The water ran out, the adult birds left, the immature birds stayed and perished. Like all animals water is the critical factor.

    As in human reality… the foolish young birdbrains perish.
    The wise old bird lives to breed the females, sip the nectar.
    Stupidity kills, always has. GK
    ============================================================================

    Somehow your response doesn’t surprise me.

    Here’s another one.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/blistering-heat-blamed-for-deaths-of-carnaby-cockatoos/story-e6frg13u-1225824802941

    You said you had never heard of birds dying from warmth : now you have.

  102. ozspeaksup says:
    December 9, 2011 at 3:44 am

    “actually a week or more of 40C temps and a drought you will see sparrows and finches and other birds falling off their perches and dying, it does happen in Aus,…….”
    ========
    Yet, this “warmists” wet dream has not been caught on video ?
    I wonder why.
    Cus it never happened ??

  103. I’m not sure if it is true everywhere, but in Chicago when it is really hot, the birds keep their beaks open to let out their body heat.
    Even better than a weather rock, if the birds have open beaks it is hot.

  104. u.k.(us) says:
    December 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Yet, this “warmists” wet dream has not been caught on video ?
    I wonder why.
    Cus it never happened ??

    ==========================================================================

    It’s not a “wet dream” old son. (Do you have some sort of problem?)

    It’s not uncommon on the Nullabor for example, It’s only when it happens in populated areas that it gets any attention.

    Of course you know better, don’t you.

  105. SPM says:
    December 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm
    ============
    Do you, or do you not, have any proof of the claims.

    I’ve never been “down under”, certainly it is my loss.

  106. SPM says:
    December 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Here’s another one.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/blistering-heat-blamed-for-deaths-of-carnaby-cockatoos/story-e6frg13u-1225824802941

    You said you had never heard of birds dying from warmth : now you have.

    OK, but that is the last one. I am not about to become a dead bird debunker… full-time!

    About 200 very decomposed stinking bird carcasses were found in two large areas. Again from your own reference:

    as there is no definitive test that can be done to establish whether heat stress was the actual cause. Therefore the cause of the bird deaths remain inconclusive.”

    Look… if mass bird deaths happens because of heat, while water and shade plus good ventilation is available, it would be very rare indeed.

    When rivers get very low, the fish hole up in the pools. If they choose a pool smaller than required for the particular drought, they perish. Nature is so cruel for the stupid. (I know stupid isn’t the correct term but I like the overall effect) GK

  107. SPM says:
    December 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    ==============
    It is amazing how many different birds you see when you point a pair of binoculars at birds.

  108. SPM – The PerthNow article you cite concludes, “Therefore the cause of the bird deaths remain inconclusive.”
    Parrots, in any case, like the heat. And cities…

    =======
    Birds flock to food-rich city
    By Melissa Fyfe, Environment Reporter, April 19, 2004

    Rainbow lorikeets are bucking the trend. While humans opt for the city-to-country seachange, these rowdy parrots are choosing the big smoke. And they’re loving it.
    The flashy lorikeets are moving into Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra in greater numbers than ever before – well adapted, it seems, to the urban lifestyle.
    Reasons behind this shift are being unravelled by the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology and the University of Melbourne. The puzzle is of particular interest in Melbourne because for decades the bird disappeared from the city.

    Common in Melbourne when the settlers arrived, by the 1920s the rainbow lorikeet had gone. Sightings after that were thought to be aviary escapees. In the 1970s the parrot came back. They are now more abundant in the city than before white settlement.
    One reason for this population explosion could be that these tropical and sub-tropical birds are attracted to the “heat island” effect of the city’s warmth-radiating tar and cement. “Conditions in Melbourne have become more sub-tropical and much warmer than surrounding areas,” said ecology honours student Pavlina Shukuroglou. “I think they are liking that.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/18/1082226635772.html

    ========

    In defense of ozspeakup, I haven’t seen a sparrow in Melbourne for years, though I have never seen one fall from the sky on a hot day. I suspect drought was the main reason for the explosion of parrots and the corresponding decline of sparrows.

  109. u.k.(us), G Karst,

    So in addition to all your scientific expertise you are now avian experts. I should have known.

    Maybe you could apply some of your skeptical skills to somebody like Monckton : hours of fun for all the family.

    Khwarizmi says:
    December 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    The Department’s senior wildlife officer Kevin Morrison said laboratory tests had not revealed an obvious cause of death.

    “Tests conducted by the Chemistry Centre on tissue samples from the dead birds have so far ruled out pesticides and chemicals including organophosphates, organochlorines and heavy metals as possible causes of death,” Mr Morrison said…………….

    “The process of ruling out possible causes enables us to narrow down what may have killed the birds, as there is no definitive test that can be done to establish whether heat stress was the actual cause. Therefore the cause of the bird deaths remain inconclusive.”

    Looks like they can’t put it down to anything else…………

    As for the parrots, we’re overrun with Rainbow Lorikeets and I love sight and sound of them.

    I doubt UHI would generate enough additional heat to justify the move, so I suppose it is climate change. Last summer and so far this summer, Melbourne has been a little more than tropical.

    The real reason I suspect though is food.

    As for the Sparrows, maybe they fell victim to the Indian Mynah.

  110. SPM says:
    December 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    So in addition to all your scientific expertise you are now avian experts. I should have known.

    One does not need to be an expert to utilize critical thinking. Try it.

    They tried to eliminate a few common herbicides and pesticides. That hardly rules out the multitude of possible causes for the bird demise. That is why they had to rule these deaths as inconclusive. I can’t help it if you cannot come up with one example where birds died due to warmth alone. Just shows how rare such an occurrence is. To state confidently the opposite is just plain bird-brained and wrong. Try to employ some critical thinking. Skepticism is not a bad thing. It keeps us all from becoming bird-brained. GK

  111. SPM says:
    December 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm
    u.k.(us), G Karst,

    So in addition to all your scientific expertise you are now avian experts. I should have known.

    Maybe you could apply some of your skeptical skills to somebody like Monckton : hours of fun for all the family.
    ===========
    Actually, it is much simpler.
    A thirst for knowledge.

  112. Oh, groan. Tropical birds? During Global Warming (or cooling) the tropics’ temperature hardly budges. All the swing is at higher latitudes.

    This is getting asinine.

  113. It seems that there is a LOT of ornithologists commenting here…if there are so many reasons that this study is useless you guys should write a reply in a per-review journal instead of criticizing with absolute no other data then your own personal beliefs…

  114. Vcar says:
    December 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    …instead of criticizing with absolute no other data then your own personal beliefs…

    You just don’t get it… Do you?

    Skeptics don’t really need data, for the very good reason: They have nothing to prove! That is the sole responsibility and duty, of those asserting the conjecture/hypothesis.

    Skeptics are merely demanding data and evidence to support the CO2 CAGW conjecture, so that it can, at least, be regarded as a valid hypothesis. You might say, we are trying to help. GK

Comments are closed.