Another government funded eye-roller: USGS bemoans climate change affecting your bird feeder

From the USGS: Who Will Come to Your Bird Feeder in 2075?

Released: 11/5/2014

The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

A new U.S. Geological Survey study predicts where 50 bird species will breed, feed and live in the conterminous U.S. by 2075. While some types of birds, like the Baird’s sparrow, will likely lose a significant amount of their current U.S. range, other ranges could nearly double. Human activity will drive many of these shifts. The study was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

“Habitat loss is a strong predictor of bird extinction at local and regional scales,” said Terry Sohl, a USGS scientist and the author of the report. “Shifts in species’ ranges over the next several decades will be more dramatic for some bird species than others.”

Climate change will cause average temperatures to change by three degrees to seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2075, depending upon scenario and location within the conterminous U.S. Temperature increases will drive breeding ranges for many species to the north. Precipitation will increase in some regions and decline in others, resulting in substantial impacts on local and regional habitat.

Habitats for birds currently breeding in the far southern U.S., such as the desert-dwelling Gambel’s quail and cactus wren, will expand greatly by 2075 in the conterminous U.S. as a warming climate moves the overall range to the north. The chestnut-collared longspur, sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge could all lose over 25 percent of their suitable breeding range in the northern U.S. as climate becomes more suitable in Canada for these species. The Baird’s sparrow may lose almost all of its current U.S. range.

Landscape changes resulting largely from human activity, including land use and land cover changes, will also significantly affect future U.S. bird distributions. The effects of landscape change will be more scattered, with very high loss of habitat at local and regional scales.

“Changing landscape patterns such as deforestation and urban growth are likely to have at least as large of an impact on future bird ranges as climate change for many species,” Sohl said.

The new study used climate and landscape data to create and compare U.S. distribution maps of 50 bird species in 2001 and 2075. The maps for each species are available online.

The species that will either gain or lose more than 20 percent of their conterminous U.S. ranges as compared to 2001 are:

  • Gambel’s quail: 61.8 percent gain
  • Cactus wren: 54.1 percent gain
  • Scissor-tailed flycatcher: 46.4 percent gain
  • Gray vireo: 44.9 percent gain
  • Painted bunting: 38.5 percent gain
  • Anna’s hummingbird: 27.2 percent gain
  • Black-capped chickadee: 21 percent loss
  • Ferruginous hawk: 21.2 percent loss
  • Sora: 22.8 percent loss
  • Northern harrier: 24.7 percent loss
  • Bobolink: 24.9 percent loss
  • Short-eared owl: 26.2 percent loss
  • Vesper sparrow: 26.4 percent loss
  • Savannah sparrow: 27.2 percent loss
  • Sedge wren: 29 percent loss
  • Gray partridge: 35.6 percent loss
  • Sharp-tailed grouse: 44.8 percent loss
  • Chestnut-collared longspur: 54.1 percent loss
  • Baird’s sparrow: 90.8 percent loss

For more information on species distribution modeling, please visit the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center website.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Office of Communications and Publishing

12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119

Reston, VA 20192

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November 6, 2014 7:09 pm

No words…..

Reply to  Kenw
November 6, 2014 9:32 pm

I have a few words: “These kinds of things give me severe pain right in the area I use for sitting.”

John W. Garrett
November 6, 2014 7:11 pm

Would somebody please tell me why in hell the United States Geological Survey is studying birds (much less predicting their future ranges)?

Rhoda R
Reply to  John W. Garrett
November 6, 2014 7:54 pm

Promotions and grants.

David A
Reply to  Rhoda R
November 6, 2014 11:13 pm

A certain senator has a lot of work to do.

Reply to  Rhoda R
November 6, 2014 11:56 pm

Promotions says Rhoda R and so she puts her finger on the problem.
The previous motto of the USGS:
“Earth Science as a Public Service”
In the late 90’s this motto was discarded and a new motto adopted:
“Science for a Changing World”
Does that tell you anything?
The geological survey of the US is complete; it’s time to dismantle the USGS.

Reply to  Rhoda R
November 7, 2014 1:05 am

Very short sighted Sir, even the slow moving tectonic plates moved yesterday.

Reply to  Rhoda R
November 7, 2014 5:00 am

No sir, not short-sighted. My vision allows people to keep more of the fruitsof their toil instead of having to support the wasteful public sector.

Reply to  John W. Garrett
November 7, 2014 7:34 pm

That’s where the money is ? Actually these studies do fall under the topic of physical geography.
However, another lecturer on this site noted that microclime change can often be a mere function of landscape change. Apparent failure to recognize this could be a error in physical geography.

Andrew N
November 6, 2014 7:23 pm

Just love the three significant digits in the percentage loss or gain. You can pick a climate model a mile off. They wouldn’t be taken seriously by the main stream media if they quoted 10, 20, 30 percent gain or loss. It wouldn’t be seen as ‘accurate.’

Andrew N
Reply to  Andrew N
November 6, 2014 7:27 pm

Oops, I should have said ‘You can pick a climate model 1609.344 metres off.’

Dr Paul mackey
Reply to  Andrew N
November 7, 2014 12:35 am

Very good point. I was always taught to avoid writing down every number the calculator displayed, and to look at the accuracties of the inputs to the calculations. That is why slide-rules are so cool – you learn to appreciate dimensional and order of magnitude considerations. I used to do my senior maths at school using a slide-rule because we were not allowed calculators. Science education has lost something allowing the extensive reliance on the calculator and the computer without teaching the basic computational skills first.

Alan McIntire
Reply to  Andrew N
November 7, 2014 6:46 am

In reply to Dr Paul Mackey:
I used slid rules in high school and college also. Calculators just started coming into commercial use around the time I graduated. I suspect that my generation of students was the last to use slide rules.

Reply to  Alan McIntire
November 7, 2014 6:57 am

I believe our generation may have also been the last to be taught scientific method and to think critically.

Reply to  Alan McIntire
November 7, 2014 2:06 pm

As a bum boatie, I used 500-page nautical tables [5 significant figures for functions of angles – sine, cosine and tangent – as well as 5 figure logs for simple number] – Norie’s was my preference. Well practised, I could work a five star sight from last star-shot to plotting on the chart in about 25 minutes.
I gather it’s now nearer 10 minutes with a counting box – but there is not the same satisfaction . . . .
And anyway, almost all ships, and ships’ officers, now rely [or over-rely] on the GPS.
And the GPS can be spoofed recent editions of the RIN’s publications indicate how this might be done.

Reply to  Alan McIntire
November 7, 2014 7:46 pm

It is in the equations and problem of floating point arithmetic. For example, the number 1.25 is the result of dividing 5 by 4. Now if significant digits end at the final whole number then, we could 1 and as being a round of 1.25 times four equaling four, not five. This gets worse with more data and or more significant digits.
Computer programing is an important relative to effective calculator use.
Also doing work by hand and becoming proficient seems to me as vital prerequisite for effective calculator use. When one of my kids took chemistry I examined this with them in detail.
Even with the effective use of C++ extension for bigger numbers, the slide rule can often be faster and better. After one gets the bugs worked out, then we can program all this.
Mine got warped and I could not find a new one ( oh well ).
The politics of global warming I find very scary.

November 6, 2014 7:26 pm

Wonder how much of this loss is due to things like the cowbird spreading to new areas?

Reply to  spetzer86
November 7, 2014 6:52 am

They aren’t required to include any actual ornithology in their model.

Reply to  spetzer86
November 7, 2014 10:09 am

Cowbirds prefer fragmented habitats. The study did include a measure of habitat fragmentation in the modeling so would indirectly capture effects in a fragmented environment.

Steve P
Reply to  sdakotab
November 8, 2014 11:05 am

I think it would be more accurate to state that the Brown-headed Cowbird has taken advantage of fragmented habitats, since it is a bird of margins that does not normally penetrate deeply into the forest seeking host nests.
Many woodland nesting birds have no defense mechanism against the cowbird, whereas margin nesters can and do recognize the cowbird’s eggs, which are either expelled, or a new nest is built atop the foreign eggs.

November 6, 2014 7:28 pm

Message to USGS;
‘Climate Changes’ Thai is true, it always has and always will – that is what thinking folk call a “no brainer”.
‘CC Warming is caused by minute concentrations CO2 from the ground level burning of fossil fuels’ FALSE another “no brainer”
the accurate, untampered satellite records from the last 18 years clearly support the facts that
CAGW is false, so it is quite idioticto draw catastrophic predictions from falsehoods. e.g. the IPCC scaremonger press releases as well as the bird feeder idiocy. ….

Reply to  cnxtim
November 6, 2014 9:35 pm

Message to USGS:
You are over funded. The proof is in the waste of public funds used to push the cAGW. I know that you are reading this. You have lost my support. You are supposed to be scientists but you are another bloated beaucracy pushing a perversion. The internet remembers. Terry Sohl, your name will be remembered.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 9:52 pm

This is so far the least researched and reasoned response I’ve seen you post. And I’m no where near a scientist. One of the benefits we receive from USGS is analysis downstream of wastewater treatment plants. Are you aware of what wastewater treatment plants do NOT remove? They do not remove, antibiotics, birth control pills (hormones), viagra, and the like. And what’s downstream for some folks is upstream (fresh water intake for municipal water supplies) for other folks. Are you okay with those things being a part of the water you drink and the ice with which you cool your favorite beverage?
There is no reason to throw “the baby out with the bath water”.
Did they cross a line with the reference to “climate change”? Maybe. But to lose your entire support due to one minor reference lack critical thinking.
We can do better than this.

Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 10:01 pm

Oh, in case anybody wonders, I have been a bird watcher for four decades and my species identification list exceeds 170 species.This list includes some rare ones, such as the swallow-tailed kite, the buff bellied humming bird, and the least grebe. Again, p-ss on the USGS for using cAGW alarmism to inflate itself. I will remember.

Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 10:02 pm

Danny Thomas:
You talk too much. Get lost.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 10:09 pm

Just because you don’t like what I have to say? Mpainter, you can do better than this. I’ve been chastised for not being scientific, so I’m providing support. You are talking politics and adding nothing OF SUBSTANCE.
I chose to remain, and I hope you do also. You often add interesting thoughtful contribution. This is an area with which I’m quite comfortable. The fact that my valid support make you uncomfortable is your challenge, not mine.
Have a great day!

Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 10:43 pm

See above

Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 7:57 am


Evan Jones
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 3:56 pm

Hmm. So long as y’all remain within the confines of site policy, y’all are welcome. No matter where y’at.

Reply to  cnxtim
November 7, 2014 4:18 pm

Ah yes, all false. You must be a climate scientist to be so well informed on radiative forcing and the impacts of greenhouse gases. It’s great to hear from all the “experts” here!!

Reply to  cnxtim
November 7, 2014 7:48 pm

There are also plenty of problems measuring surface temperatures with satellites.

Danny Thomas
November 6, 2014 7:32 pm

USGS works closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks, State and local equivalents in a supporting role whereby they do arial documentation as well as land and watershed analysis. The reasoning, as I understand it, is so that these other entities do not duplicate efforts and therefore duplicate related expenditures. Why the USGS is reporting on the avian species I’m not exactly clear except that USGS duties overlap and extend outside the borders of these other entities. I’m not sure that the wildlife species analysis and discussion is really within the purview of USGS, but the habitats and ranges certainly are.
The Climate change portion. Meh.
Hope this helps answer your question.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 4:20 pm

One voice that’s at least halfway reasonable out here. Except for the “meh” part. Yes, USGS works very closely with other Federal agencies. USGS also has a very strong biology component, hence this kind of work. Wildlife species and their habitat are definitely within the wheelhouse of USGS. USGS isn’t just geology…

Two Labs
November 6, 2014 7:42 pm

“The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.”
Yeah, I see what you did there…

M Courtney
Reply to  Two Labs
November 7, 2014 1:08 am

My thoughts exactly;

The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

Very probably true.
How much each factor affects he birds is the first question.
Then by how much they cumulatively effect changes in bird population and distribution.
Then start estimating quantities.
Then test your model against reality over the next half century.
Or just say “Climate and…” mumble mumble mumble…

Reply to  M Courtney
November 7, 2014 7:19 am

I have a rueful suspicion that many birds, by that time, might be displaced by glaciation, but I won’t be there to observe so I’m somewhat indifferent. It stupefies me that the greens can’t accept anthropological influences as a part of the course of nature and can’t accept that there are any forces in nature that make our activities minuscule by comparison. Even if they are successful in exterminating the “virus” of humanity, climate, vegetation and the very crust of this planet will continue to change at will, causing some species to flourish while others die out. Of this I am certain till death…

Evan Jones
Reply to  M Courtney
November 7, 2014 4:00 pm

Hmm. Makes me wonder what bird distribution was 60 years ago.

Reply to  Two Labs
November 7, 2014 4:21 pm

Evanmjones…60 years ago, there are many, many bird species that weren’t found as far north as they are today. Wonder why that could be, given that climate change is CLEARLY not real… (rolling eyes)

Joel O'Bryan
November 6, 2014 7:50 pm

This is absolute pure speculation. I live in Tucson AZ. Very hot summers, mild winters. Tons of birds of all feathers they list above. I have a bird feeder that literally has hundreds of many of these birds every day. A dozen different kinds, and they love the heat. I take pictures of the birds there almost every day. Identify the variety. I have birds at that feeder I have experts cannot identify because they are probably migrating from Mexico and its mountains in the summer. They came from Dinosaurs, when it really was hot in the Cretaceous.
When I was in Massachusetts, I had Black-capped chickadees were at the feeder in the winter-spring and fall. The summer, they went to Canada to feed on insects. If it gets warmer, they will stay in Canada longer. If it gets colder, they stay in lower 48 longer. Simple adaptation. Those birds have been adapting to changing climate long before Homo sapiens walked upright out of the African savannah.
These supposed losses are purely politically contrived and pushed so far out into 2075, that no one can tell them they are BS. Of course anything can happen in 60 years.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 7, 2014 10:12 am

Black-capped Chickadees don’t migrate. They are permanent residents throughout their range, and rarely stray far from their nesting sites.
Felt the need to mention it, since you’re concerned about “BS”.

Reply to  sdakotab
November 7, 2014 2:48 pm

I had never heard of the black-capped chickadee before [I’m a Brit], but I know there is variation within any population [except perhaps for Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island tortoise, (Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii, if the ever-more-perfect Wikipedia is to be accepted without question), being the only one of his population].
I note that Worcester, Mass., is fairly close to the centre [yes centre is how I spell the word] of that state, and is about 130 miles from the Canadian border, and wonder if there could be – possibly otherwise undocumented – migratory behaviour, even on a two degree of latitude scale, amongst some of the population.
I emphasise that I am certainly not an expert on any chickadee, whatever their headwear might be.
[Somewhat off-thread, probably, but marginally connected – I did see a chap wearing a bowler hat tonight, whilst commuting home from London, and, yes, he had a rolled umbrella – probably ten years since the last time such a sight crossed my view]
Do have a grand weekend, all.

Reply to  sdakotab
November 7, 2014 4:14 pm

Hey Auto…no, they definitely are non-migratory. They mate for life, and tend to stay within a few hundred yards of their nesting location.

Reply to  sdakotab
November 7, 2014 4:38 pm

Black-capped chickadee
From the Peterson Field guide:
“Moves south some winters. Casual winter visitor to W. Texas and the panhandle.”

November 6, 2014 7:58 pm

Oh no! Not birds again! ☺
Last winter, I met with three profs from the local university to discuss climate change. Amazing the nonsense that they are preaching (lying) to the students about. One prof said (quote), “There are now robins in the Arctic.” Well … er sir, yes there are. As there have been for decades and decades. I sent him a map from my 1962 Birds of Canada (published before he was born) showing the breeding range of the American robin well into the Arctic. Idiots.
Oh course, in the past 100 centuries, all parts of North America that were covered with ice (until ca 10K ybp) have been repopulated by plants and animals. There is every reason to believe the spread is continuing and of course made complex by shifts in land use.
Gary Larson (The Far Side) was right: the Bozone Layer is threatening us all. ☺

Reply to  Clive
November 6, 2014 9:08 pm


Reply to  Clive
November 7, 2014 7:38 am

Dang, Clive, that’s another great bumper sticker! Soon I’ll have so many I’ll have to remove some flag decals from my window shield to make room, especially since they “don’t getcha into heaven anymore” (…apologies to John Prine).

Janice Moore
November 6, 2014 8:08 pm

Q: “Who Will Come to Your Bird Feeder in 2075?”
(from the insanity obviously behind this report, Answer: the descendants of its authors …. “Oh, yum! This is mighty fine suet!”..)
Soooo…….. yeah.
In about 60 years, thus and so will be the case with my bird feeder ….
Interview of Person’s on the Street Who Could Possibly Care:
Question: Are you interested in knowing what birds will be at your feeder when you are in your {pick one} 60’s? 70’s? 80’s? 90’s?
Ages 2-4 Response: Hi! My name is Beanthprout. My parentth name me that becahth…. I forgot.
Ages 5-7 Response: Birds are really, really, really, neat. I will feed them Cheetos.
Ages 8-11 Response: Not really. My parents take care of that.
Ages 12-18 Response: (silent, slightly sneering, stare — roll eyeballs — look down at phone and keep on texting their friend sitting 2 feet away from them)
Ages 19-27 Response: The short answer: No. The long answer: No.
Ages 28-35ish Response: Hey, would you please hand me that diaper bag? I think I brought an extra box of crackers…… Lacey, stop that NOW!…… Krummer, Krummer, KRUMMER, look at me, Krummer, what did I just tell you about the dog’s water dish……………..
In sum:
Who cares?

November 6, 2014 8:11 pm

So, the USGS which (one could logically assume) does not have the true expertise to study birds has taken the output of a computer model (which, to date has failed miserably) which estimates the climate of the future and used its output as the basis on which to estimate bird populations of the future. “if the climate does X, then we predict that bird populations will respond in Y manner”.
A guess of the impact of another guess.
I could guess that if the Martains land on earth, they will eat all the frogs, destroying the raccoon population…. And if I use a computer program to do the calculations I will be right, right?

Janice Moore
Reply to  RCM
November 6, 2014 8:12 pm

Precisely! heh

Reply to  Janice Moore
November 7, 2014 3:20 pm

Save the Raccoon.
Save the Raccoon NOW!
Send me money to save the raccoon NOW!!
Does I get tenure now? And a gubb’mint paid-for pension?
Hey, this side of the Pond, we have a cultural apartheid.
Civil Servants [and all other public workers have their guaranteed pensions paid out of Government funds [aka taxes].
Some have relicts of guaranteed benefits [I have some – probably about enough to keep me from the poor-house, I t h I n k !], but most have money purchase schemes, which, thanks to poor returns, large charges, and

Danny Thomas
Reply to  RCM
November 6, 2014 8:21 pm

Come on guys. I get the frustration with the “pounding of the drum” for climate change, but that’s not the only thing this article discusses. From the article:” land use and land cover changes.” are included. Plus the following statement:”Changing landscape patterns such as deforestation and urban growth are likely to have at least as large of an impact on future bird ranges as climate change for many species,” Sohl said.”
How does it hurt to document where we are now so we can compare later. Just like the data that’s been used with CO2, temps, glaciers, etc. that we all use, there’s really no harm in this kind of documentation.
I’m really okay with this one. The land use is what USGS is all about. Discussion of bird, I’m not so sure but let’s realize the value that is there.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 6, 2014 8:31 pm

Then,… you pay for it, Mr. Thomas. The rest of us U.S. taxpayers would like to get at that $18 TRILLION dollar debt (and a few other things).
We paid for THIS:
“Landscape changes resulting largely from human activity, including land use and land cover changes, will also significantly affect future U.S. bird distributions. *** ”
No. They won’t.

“at least 94.6 percent of the United States is rural open space,”


Danny Thomas
Reply to  Janice Moore
November 6, 2014 9:10 pm

I do pay for it. And so do you. Many folks have pounded on me about this being a science site. And where do we get our data for analysis. From organizations such as USGS. These guys on the “front lines” are honorable folks. Pound on the bureaucrats all you wish. But the meat and potatoes of this organization I’ve worked with and I admire and respect. They’re hard working, respectable individuals that happen to have government jobs. Who, in the private sector, will do what these folks do and provide access to their data for public consumption?
I get that they’re towing the party lines bringing climate change in to the conversation, but land use, watershed analysis, and the like are important to those of us who use the data in our review, analysis and discussion of this very topic. The administration sets the tone, and I have no problem with your perception of the current administration, but these folks are no different than you and I. They do what their boss tells them.
Land use, such as urban development, agriculture, parks, wildlife refuges, etc. are all things that are to the benefit of our society. Can you name a “for profit” entity willing to do what these agencies do and let you and I hunt, fish, hike, sightsee, etc.? I can’t.
Is there less value in some of these positive uses of our tax dollars as opposed to NOAA, the military, the CDC, and others? I think not.
I get that you (and I) have concerns about the way our government spends our collective tax money, but for me, this is a mutually beneficial use of those funds that I’m okay with. Just like our parks, and just like our wildlife refuges. I’m a hunting/fishing fan. It doesn’t have to all be about politics. And this is nothing but and is certainly not science. Land aquisition, for example for wildlife refuges, comes much from Duck Stamps. So those who consume, pay fairly directly. I’m good with that. Using the capability of USGS for the mutual benefit of these agencies in an effort to actually REDUCE expenses is a reasonable use of tax dollars.
Rural does not in any way mean habitat. How much of that land is agriculture?
Are you suggesting we do away with USGS? There goes volcano study. There goes earthquake study. There goes water study.
Not everything, no matter how you “feel” about government is negative. “As the Nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers.”
We’re the “other customers”.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  Janice Moore
November 6, 2014 9:23 pm

Of that “rural land use’ there is: cropland, grassland pasture and range, forest. Our government (you and I) owns approx. 29% of the total land much of which is in Alaska. There are no assurances as to how the balance (71%) of privately held lands are used. And please note that this data came free of charge (other than tax dollars) from a governmental agency. USDA:

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 6, 2014 11:55 pm

Oh, come on, Danny…
Yes, there are SOME excellent bureaucrats that I’m proud to have as friends, but most are complete hacks. ALL of the functions bureaucracies currently provide could easily be done under contract by the private sector or enforced by insurance companies to minimize their risk exposure of their insured customers.
The name of the game for any bureaucracy is to spend as MUCH money as you can get away with, as inefficiently as you can get away with, to assure ever increasing future budgets and job security. Without a profit motive, there is ZERO incentive for cost cutting and efficiency. As most bureaucracies are monopolies, there is NO competitive price discovery, so prices are insanely expensive, and why not? It’s not your money you’re wasting? Run out of money? No problem, just print some more or tax the private sector to oblivion. Who cares?
When arbitrary public-sector “incentive” programs are implemented, you get incidents like the VA scandal, with combat veterans left to die on some secret off-the-book waiting list, to enable some bureaucratic hack to can get an “improved efficiency” bonus… It doesn’t work.
Whistle-blowers are pariahs and treated with disdain, distrust and contempt. Hacks go out of their way to make sure whistle-blowers’ careers are ruined to set an example to other bureaucrats that dare have the audacity to exhibit a conscience…
Just look at the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal, the Fast & Furious scandal, the VA scandal, the Global Warming scandal, etc., ….
Jeez, Danny, it’s disgusting.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2014 6:21 am

Hi Samurai,
I’m sorry but this is only politics. The USGS is not the IRS or Bhengazi.
I’ve asked for a source from the private sector that would be a good proxy for what USGS does. I’m not aware of one. As you know, I’m a relative newbie to Watt and I’ve read here how folks “over there” are so political. Can we not do better? This is more of the same. If this side is “so much better” then is proving it by stooping to the same level the best method?
USGS supports multiple other agencies. Is it perfect? Not even close. Is there a likely alternative that you and I can use in our analysis of climate change? Not all government is bad. USGS has been a great service and resource and there is no reason for that not to continue. I’m not sure that if there was a private sector entity that did do what USGS does that I’d be comfortable with it. I mean if we’re talking public vs. private sector do we really want Blackwater to replace our Military? There are two sides to these political topics.

M Courtney
Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 1:15 am

I’m backing Danny Thomas.
If the US abandons funding science for the sake for science then you may as well abandon your American Dream.
The future belongs to those who believe in; the benefits of progress, that knowledge is a net good, that the world is ordered – has meaning – and can bring us closer to a better world.
Moaning over cents spent birdwatching is fiscal cowardice The triumph of pessimism over optimism. A Greenpeace agenda.
But I’m not endorsing the use of unvalidated models for predictions.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 2:20 am

Why lump “climate change” into the equation then? It devalues they whole study…and is the first item in their list of reasons, clearly making it a prominent component.
Then there’s this statement:
“The new study used climate and landscape data to create and compare U.S. distribution maps of 50 bird species in 2001 and 2075. ”
What climate data did they use?
This is yet another “If ….then…” study, and frankly?…I’m sick of seeing tax dollars fund positions that produce this drivel, that come with a federal pension.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  jimmaine
November 7, 2014 6:38 am

Hi Jim,
I agree to a point, other than the given that “climate is/has/does change”.
I think the gist of this “study” could have been done over lunch with a napkin and pen resulting is about as much validity. Who knows what external and as yet unknown influences will occur? Not USGS.
But others have taken one part of the the “paint brush” (climate change) and painted the entire USGS as invalid due to it’s use of that brush. From this newbies perspective that is no more valid than saying EVERYONE on this site is invalid as they’re all backed by big oil and Koch. Well I’m here and I can’t find my check anywhere. Just not reasonable thinking and more political bluster.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 4:23 am

M Courtney
Speaking as someone who understands the situation and the science, I can tell you most definitely that you have missed the issue by about 4,500 miles. It is not a few cents. That is the sort of thinking that has saddled us with staggering debt. It is an attitude of those in government that batten upon the rest of us. I believe that over half of government is superfluity. Do not put it in terms of science, that is foolish.Down with alarmist science andif you believe otherwise you have come to the wrong place.

M Courtney
Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 4:35 am

mpainter, as someone who knows the science you presumably know that there is a certain magic formula to get funding.
“This is caused by climate change…”
And it is actually reasonable to include trends in the weather as a factor in bird migration..
Cutting all funding of science is not the way forward for any country. Cutting funding of science at all is letting the emotional alarmists win. All that will be left is the best lobbied for – the most politicised.
Small Government shouldn’t necessarily mean small-minds.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 5:06 am

M Courtney:
You are the only one who is talking about cutting funding for all science. You have raised this bugaboo yourself.
And now do you attribute this to me? You are wool-hatted if you do.

M Courtney
Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 5:14 am

mpainter. I went to the extreme to show how ridiculous that was then I said (quoting me)

Cutting funding of science at all is letting the emotional alarmists win.

You don’t have to agree with me about science funding.
But you can’t advocate cutting science funding on this thread and then deny that you ever did.
mpainter November 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Message to USGS:
You are over funded

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 6:02 am

Indeed I did and I do not deny it.The USGS has fulfilled its mission and should be cut back to a much smaller staff, as I said. And now you employ the tactic of twisting a different meaning out of that. Your support of the sort of alarmist science as displayed in the post is inappropriate. Yet you advocate funding for such garbage.
And you do so before the world.

M Courtney
Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 6:16 am

The thread is clear. I advocate not throwing the baby out with the bathwater in the bid to clear out the error of catastrophic AGW. I support funding of science by Governments and I recommend that policy to your US Government.
You advocated cutting down whole societies as their course is run – they cannot have a further purpose. If you advocated that the USG had no more work to do then a debate could be had (I think you would lose that though). Yet such an argument about use of resources and the size of Government is quite legitimate and justifiable.
But instead you are justify cutting the USGS because they are not renouncing AGW. Nobody dares do that, just yet. You are arguing for a wide destruction of state funded scientific institutions. And that is not appropriate in my view.
Look at Danny Thomas’s comment (November 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm) at the head of this discussion. I still support him. This study isn’t worthless.
We are obviously from very different political viewpoints so I will accept that we will disagree on many things and leave you with the chance for the last word. It has been good to discuss. But you and I are the only ones left listening here and I doubt we are going to persuade each other.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 7:03 am

M Courtney:
I will stand on my statement. The USGS has outlived its usefulness and is another bloated beauracracy rooting for acorns. And I know that most geologists will agree with me, your vaporizing notwithstanding. I have had dealings with the USGS. I know whereof I speak. You come and spout vaporous sermonizing, ignorant of the actual situation, while supporting alarmist science.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 7:13 am

Evidence, please? What kind of interaction that was so wasteful and useless did you have?
Stating:”And I know that most geologists will agree with me, your vaporizing notwithstanding.” is really no different than saying 97% of climate scientists…………….” And look where that’s gotten us.
My interaction, supported here, is quite different than yours.
We can agree on “mission creep” and that things can be improved (as can we all) but what would be the alternative resource? I’d really appreciate your reasoned apolitical response to that very simple question if you can muster one.
Their mission is science, and science never ends.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 8:26 am

Thank you for the opportunity to reiterate the need to cut down the size of the USGS. The geologic survey of the US is complete. No need to waste any more money on alarmist trash. No need to pour any more tax dollars into a wasteful beauracracy. The new Congress knows what the voters expect.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 8:34 am

You’re welcome.
I take it then that you have no actual evidence, but there is evidence that “hot air” is a sign of “global warming”.
Alarmist is a term that can be used in both sides of political conversation. If the shoe fits………..

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 8:54 am

Danny Thomas
After this weeks election, what elected official will pay any heed to the Green agenda, the kiss of political death?
The Greens are belly up. If that makes you unhappy, then, poor fellow.
Inhofe and company understand the need to dig out the green worms from government, their political enemies. Does that sound harsh? That is what happens to those who play politics and lose, the poor, dumb, enviroloons.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 9:15 am

“what elected official will pay any heed to the Green agenda?”
Painter, the USGS is an agency dedicated to science. I’ve respectfully requested you substantiate your point of view with evidence,. even anecdotal, to the contrary. But you’ve offered nothing but blather and politics. I’m happy to respond in kind as I’ve shown. I’m also happy to have an evidence based rational conversation but I’ve been unable to get you to engage.
I’m a long standing independent politically. I tend towards liberalism socially. I don’t care what you do nor should you care what I do as long as we don’t hurt each other in the process. I’m VERY fiscally conservative and have agreed with you on many points regarding waste in government. Trying to paint me in some corner that you assume about me is lazy and intellectually dishonest. If you have nothing more, then I suggest we just let this stand as it is. There are a sufficient number of intellectually strong folks here that can read and interpret for themselves. If you’d like to discuss specifics about USGS, please continue. Good reasoned discussion is how things are improved. Political nonsense from any side is, well, political nonsense and is only a mirror of our representation in D.C. I, for one, know that I am better than that. I’ve been all over the wonderful country and seen better than what’s sometimes portrayed here and in mass media. I’ll sleep just fine either way, but I’ll continue to ask others to join me in “proving” we are better than the rhetoric shows. Name calling benefits none. I’ll sleep fine either way.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 9:07 am

And can you imagine the disgust of the poor, dumb sock puppet Poohtus who bet the ranch on green alarmism only to lose by a landslide. Can you imagine his feelings when the Green worms that he fostered in government turn to him for help, as if he could if he wanted to?
The only thing left to the green worms are squeals and squawks as the Republican Congress applies the fiscal scalpel to them.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 9:53 am

And science that addresses “climate change” is not science but a political manifesto in the guise of science. Climate is determined by geography, not CO2. And when I say “green worms” I refer to those in public employ who iterate this manifesto in what they palm off as science. And so the term “green worms”

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 10:02 am

And deflection! Another form of intellectual dishonesty.
It’s okay painter. Just say it. Repeat after me:”I was only being blustery about politics and know nothing about the USGS, what it does, and how it does it.”

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 10:01 am

To continue,
“green worms” very aptly describes what has taken place.
Nobody objects to that term but you. Funny. You said that you came here to learn about the issues. Well, pay attention. Talk less and read more.
Or go to SKS, where you should feel less offended by what is said.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 10:12 am

Oh ye of short memory! “enviroloons”
Happy to talk about the issue. You?

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 10:17 am

And maybe this: “dumb sock puppet Poohtus”
Come on painter, I’m highly confident that I’m boring folks, and I’d venture an educated guess that you are also. Back to USGS, sir?

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 11:00 am

The current USGS science focus, in their words:
1. Climate and land use changes
2. Core science systems
3. Ecosystems
4. Environmental health, energy, minerals
5 Natural hazards
6. Water
Note the emphasis on climate and environment (ecosystems, environmental health)
This mission statement dates to2012 and there can be no doubt that Poohtus meant the USGS to be a tool fitted to the hand of the Green Worms (or ecoloons, if you prefer)
Show me geology, show me survey.
The USGS (the GS stands for geological survey) is a stench in my nostrils.
Does it smell good to you? I wonder why.
Time to fix things at the USGS, the EPA, and wherever the green worms (or “enviroloons” if you prefer) have their nests.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 11:32 am

Outstanding! Thank you! Once we tone down the rhetoric we can discuss our common ground.
So let’s talk about it. First, to answer your question as to Where’s the geology:, Then, surveys: which is #2 in your list as you gleaned from their mission statement.
For those of use that are comfortable with the statement that the climate changes. I EXPECT them to plan for that and land use changes as a result. In a previous discussion about FEMA substantiated concerns about that entity being the wrong resource for that topic somewhat swayed my thinking. But to me, this is exactly the right resource short of creating another overlapping entity (and we don’t need that). Please note, I’m not saying “global warming” but I am saying climate change. I’m not in any way advocating their promotion of AGW.
The balance of the list regarding water, ecosystems, natural hazards (IE earthquakes/tectonics), etc. were all things discussed in my geology classes. I touched on one area relating to wastewater analysis that I’m unaware that anyone else is doing, in an earlier post.
So there is much on which we can agree, is there not? Can it be improved? You bet, any/every organization of any/every kind can be and this one is no different. But as I’m still unaware of an alternative private sector equivalent the a comprehensive dismantling (gutting) of the USGS would be so completely injurious and impractical as to be an ignorant decision.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 11:15 am

And so you see, you cannot talk about the USGS without referring to politics.
Does this bore you? Well, look the other way.
You can uphold the USGS or the EPA with your vaporous platitudes about science and whatnot, but you will not convince on this blog. You need to take that to SKS. And do not forget that I and the others are scientists, engineers, etc.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 7, 2014 12:02 pm

I reminded you that I’m neither a scientist nor an engineer. But in discussion a political topic your citation of the fact that you and others are is the very definition of “false authority”. In other words, who cares?
I defer on more technical topics and have asked for help in those areas many times. And I will again.
Regarding your immediately prior post I’d actually hoped you’d recalled an ability to think critically, but as you wish to return to politics I remind you of another aspect of intellectual honesty (or sans this, dishonesty) 2. Show a willingness to publicly acknowledge that reasonable alternative viewpoints exist. The alternative views do not have to be treated as equally valid or powerful, but rarely is it the case that one and only one viewpoint has a complete monopoly on reason and evidence.”
I’ll expect to see as M Courtney suggested above, that you fulfill an insatiable need to have the “last word”. And as M Courtney did so gracefully above, I will leave it to you as we’ll just have to disagree.
Have a great day!

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 12:08 pm

I have performed a public service!

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 12:15 pm

Danny Thomas,
What happened to your gosh, shucks come-on, you know where you would say ya’ll and howdy, those sorts of words. You seem a different person, show’nuff.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 12:26 pm

By the way, I note that you wave the stock cAGW bugaboo “climate change”. Well, climate is determined by geography, not CO2. And do not be fooled, changing weather is the norm.
I doubt that a majority of the new Congress will be impressed with the stock bugaboo.

Ben U.
November 6, 2014 8:30 pm

“Another government funded eye-roller” – But didn’t Al Gore invent eye-rolling? Credit where credit is due!

Reply to  Ben U.
November 7, 2014 12:04 pm

…and don’t forget he invented the internet…

November 6, 2014 8:33 pm

How the heck would black capped chickadees be affected? They are everywhere and move with the seasons. I see hundreds out my window every day when the season is right. They range from northern Texas to Alaska. More likely their range would expand northward and be larger. 21% smaller is absurd. Oh, wait, “contiguous US” range. Well, so they move north and into more territory making the territory in the US smaller or at higher altitude … maybe. So I need to do better at reading between the lines. They may be predicting a shift northward in the next 60 years. Could happen. But so could nothing, GIGO.

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
November 7, 2014 10:17 am

There’s a pretty clear temp/precip boundary in the south where you do not find BC Chickadees. Another species, the Carolina Chickadee, is found in southern conditions that BC Chickadees can’t handle. A warming and wetter climate? Of course BC Chickadee range would move north, with likely expansion of Carolina Chickadee range. The study only looks at the U.S., so yes, while BC chickadee range will likely shrink in the U.S., it will likely expand in Canada.

November 6, 2014 8:34 pm
john karajas
November 6, 2014 9:17 pm

I know somebody else mentioned it in a comment above, but why should the USGS be in the business of studying birds???????
Geology is all about rocks, minerals, fossils, the earth, rocks on other planets.
A nursing graduate who is now a professor at the Australian National University was pontificating on the world’s climate the other day but this is just as ridiculous.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  john karajas
November 6, 2014 9:30 pm

From the USGS website:”“As the Nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers.”
I’m not saying their use of resources for estimating bird populations and locations 60 years in the future (forecasting) is an appropriate use, but according to their mission statement above it’s in their purview.
My perception is that their area encompasses the entire U.S. where other wildlife related agencies may be restricted by artificial boundaries. Best answer I can come up with.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 6, 2014 9:48 pm

The mission of the United States Geologic Survey is accomplished. The survey is complete. It is time to dismantle about 90% of the agency.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 9:56 pm

I can agree that they’ve overstepped with the climate change reference as that topic is obviously in question. But 90%? Meh. Maybe 10-20%. Their mapping, land use, watershed and water analysis has substantial value.
I get the political leanings in your response, but the actual benefit of this particular agency I’m more than comfortable (sans climate change) in a reasoned analysis and defense of a large portion of their contribution to science.
I’m trying to be realistic here. Have you really taken a hard objective look at what the USGS does to our benefit?

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 6, 2014 10:51 pm

Yes, with clear eyes and hard judgement. I am a geologist.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  mpainter
November 6, 2014 11:13 pm

Then I would have to assume you’ve had a greater interaction with the tools that this agency provides than even I? And I’ve had quite a bit. So are you saying you’re willing to do without those tools in the performance of your area of expertise? And can you provide a link for a private entity that is willing to provide the data sets that USGS provides to the consuming public free of charge? I’m looking forward to access to that resource.
Come on M. This a political topic. You and I can agree that as with most governmental agencies there is waste in their use of our (yours and mine) funds. But can we also not agree that if we removed the presumed edict from the current administration to “promote” climate change” that you would feel differently about their value? If we’re being real with each other, and everyone else here, there is so much more value to the USGS that we should support the efforts of the front line people and lay whatever responsibility for the promotion of “climate change” at the feet of the higher ups than those lower down the chain of command?
I’m sorry that you’re not happy with me not stepping in line with the “party” platform on this particular topic. But I am well aware of the good works produced by the vast majority of this agency.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 6, 2014 11:19 pm

See above

Steve R
Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 12:19 am

I used to have a client who would be hit up every year by USGS to fund some sort or another study. Finally he would hand the proposals to me and ask me to write a response to explain why the study was unnecessary.
Anyway, just because a publication comes from USGS, does not mean it was govt funded.

Danny Thomas
Reply to  Steve R
November 7, 2014 6:28 am

We can certainly agree that some studies are not the best use of our tax funds and this is likely an excellent example.
As I’ve managed to get myself in to the middle of another political topic would you be so kind as to share your perceptions as to the value of USGS in reference to work that was done, or that you have used personally? I for one, would appreciate as apolitical analysis as possible from other who have had substantial interaction. Maybe I’m way off base once again.

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 2:00 am

It’s called mission creep. They’re trying to justify their continued existence. If the study is about bird species, then it should have been conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service. As for their vaporware projections, who’s to say how land use will take place over the succeeding decades. After all, they’re anticipating deforestation when forests are making a comeback:

Reply to  Danny Thomas
November 7, 2014 2:23 am

Then clearly their mission statement needs to be rewritten and the purview redefined. This is the same as building bridges to nowhere. In fact, it’s worse. Someone, someday, might actually USE the bridge.

November 6, 2014 9:29 pm

This “study” predicts +7F (about 4C) of warming by 2075??? Really? How do they get this?
There hasn’t been a global warming trend for 18+ years, and only a 0.108C/decade trend (HADCRUT4) since 1950 (when the CAGW hypothesis assumes CO2 induced warming is even possible)…
Let’s see… 2075 – 2015= 60 years= 6.0 decades x .108C/decade= .65C by 2075… not even close to 4C; off by a factor of 6…
Since there hasn’t been a global warming trend for 18+ years, despite 30% of all manmade CO2 emissions since 1750 emitted over just the last 18 years, this 0.108C/decade trend is untenable. Moreover, not even the CAGW warmunists think 100% of all global warming since 1950 is CO2 induced, so actual CO2 induced warming will be well below 0.65C by 2075…. 0.325C, perhaps,
by 2075?… This is well over an order of magnitude off from the assumptions of this “study”…
How much longer will taxpayers foot the bill for this insipid pseudo science?
When will this disconfirmed hypothesis be tossed on the trash heap of failed ideas?

November 6, 2014 9:44 pm

The chestnut-collared longspur, sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge could all lose over 25 percent of their suitable breeding range in the northern U.S. as climate becomes more suitable in Canada for these species.
So the breeding range is likely growing in this study, but the portion left in the United States is smaller. Are they of the impression that birds are aware of their nationality? That’s some rather clever wording to make something negative when it isn’t. It also makes it impossible to figure out without going through the study bird by bird which ones have ACTUAL habitat shrinkage and which ones have an artificial one created by pretending that birds have citizenship. My impression is that if you took out this artificial construct, the vast majority of birds are seeing their habitat expand due to higher temperatures. Which is what skeptics have long been saying, warmer = better.
But at day’s end, what they are showing is only true IF the models are correct, and the IPCC has said that they probably aren’t.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  davidmhoffer
November 7, 2014 12:09 am

Furthermore, the estimated changes in breeding ranges assumes that the suitable area for a given bird is determined by temperature, and not, say, competition with other bird species. I am reminded of the discovery that the decrease in spotted owl numbers in the northwest US was determined to be hybridization with barred owls, not habitat loss due to logging, as had been assumed.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
November 7, 2014 10:21 am

I don’t think it’s any clever wording, it’s just paranoid interpretation from the folks out here. The only ones focusing on the negative are folks here. The paper clearly notes ranges will shift north overall, with reductions in the U.S. for many species likely compensated by range increases in Canada. Actually reading things past a headline might help in understanding that it doesn’t focus on negative impacts.
The latest AR5 report from IPCC just came out, and they’ve STRENGTHENED the confidence in the climate models. Obviously it’s not the case that the IPCC is saying the models “probably aren’t” correct.

John F. Hultquist
November 6, 2014 9:54 pm

Something useful might come from such research. Maybe they can direct their expertize to figuring out how to get rid of invasive species such as the European Starlings.
Note this though:
A wealthy drug manufacturer and Shakespeare lover, Eugene Scheifflen, decided he would attempt to bring every bird mentioned by Shakespeare to the United States, starting with starlings.
Lists have been made of such well intentioned boondoggles. Largemouth Bass were introduced – by stagecoach – into Idaho.
The Planet is Fine. —look it up; warning, language

Danny Thomas
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
November 6, 2014 9:59 pm

Outstanding. Let’s include: zebra mussels, fragmities, goby, lamprey, and so on, and so on, and so on.

November 6, 2014 10:06 pm

They keep throwing out climate horror stories hoping something will stick, Its all speculative BS, not testable science. We have observed birds moving in the exact opposite direction predicted by global warming theory.

November 6, 2014 10:22 pm

There’s that ‘probably’ word again. Add that to a healthy timetable that allows the authors to collect their grants, retire and become history well before any evidence ‘probably’ appears.
Not many are giving a timetable that is verifiable in their lifetime.

Mike Maguire
November 6, 2014 10:25 pm

“Climate change will cause average temperatures to change by three degrees to seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2075, depending upon scenario and location within the conterminous U.S.”………….yeah, right.
Start with an extreme assumption and you can make extreme projections.

November 6, 2014 10:35 pm

What is most revealing is they predict climate change will warm the American southeast and push birds northward according to standard Jim Hansen CO2 scenarios. The map of the hooded warbler illustrates this. However if we look at the American southeast it has experienced cooling for the past century. The only warming was derived from data homogenization

Reply to  jim Steele
November 6, 2014 10:48 pm

Good point, Jim Steele, and this is the measure of the science of the USGS and their alarmist hacks like Terry Sohl.

John L.
November 6, 2014 10:44 pm

I’m new to this website, so please excuse me if I’m repeating an earlier post. But relative to birds, it seems to me that local bird populations will indeed change over time, due to the fact that many thousands are being killed by windmills each year.
These killings occur locally (where there are windmills). It seems to me that birds can adapt more easily to flying a bit further north or south to eat and breed, than they can adjust to moving and fatal obstacles put in their path. Just my thoughts…..

Reply to  John L.
November 7, 2014 7:46 am

Agreed. There are many Audubon supporters that are anti-wind mills and sport bumper stickers pointing to the “sWINDle”

November 6, 2014 10:46 pm

Sliced up by wind farms?

Danny Thomas
Reply to  LewSkannen
November 6, 2014 11:03 pm

There’s a lot of truth in that!

November 6, 2014 10:47 pm

Let there be no doubt whatsoever: the USGS is for the birds.

November 6, 2014 11:08 pm

And on a lighter note…

James Bull
November 7, 2014 12:45 am

I couldn’t bring myself to read it all so I didn’t see if they mention how many birds will be chopped out of the sky by all the new wonderful earth saving windmills. (should I put sarc?)
James Bull

Keith Willshaw
November 7, 2014 1:08 am

Lets take just one example of the breeds they mention the Gray partridge
This is a bird that thrives in almost ANY climate. They eat insects and seeds and live in areas
ranging from southern Europe and the southern states of North America to Scandinavia
and Canada.
They are ground nesting, typically in hedgerows and field margins so the main reason for decline
in those areas where this has happened is loss of breeding habitat. As for climate they are hardy
critters who can live anywhere they can find food.
How on earth could a 2 deg C rise in temperature hurt a species that thrives in Southern Greece
and Norway ?

Reply to  Keith Willshaw
November 7, 2014 10:06 am

First, Gray Partridge are not found in southern states of North America. They go no further south than the Nebraska/Kansas border. They strongly prefer cool, dry conditions, and do not tolerate high summer temperatures or high summer precip, such as that found in southern states. Wet conditions particularly have a strong negative impact on nesting success. Clearly climate conditions already limit distribution, and a changing climate, with warmer temps and increased precip, will affect nesting success in the southern part of their range. Expansion to the north is likely, given that severe winter weather is another limiting factor and is likely to decline in the future.

November 7, 2014 1:35 am

This morning’s London Times has a ‘study’ from UEA that warns of the ‘end of orchids’ due to climate change.
“A 2 degree warming would cause male bees to emerge earlier so they are less well synchronised with the orchids.”.
This seems to presume that the orchid will not respond to climate change too and open earlier.
From the ‘gimmie the money and run dept’ of UEA.

Reply to  Jazznick
November 7, 2014 3:07 am

you only have to look at bees in hotter cites to see if this is true.

Reply to  Jazznick
November 7, 2014 4:19 am

I believe that a better use of academic time and taxpayer’s money at UEA would be an investigation of the cause of global Colony Collapse Disorder which puts much of the world’s fruit and vegetables at risk, not just orchids. Rather than spending money on a non-existent temperature rise affecting bees they could try to establish whether or not nicotinoids are causing the very obvious loss of bee colonies. (UEA is also the home of the Food Research Institute – or used to be when I was a young worker in that sector)
Some studies suggest these as a cause , but the case is unproven and will remain so as far as the UK Govt is concerned if it continues to squander its declining resources on a dubious AGW agenda.

M Courtney
Reply to  mikewaite
November 7, 2014 5:08 am

Global Colony Collapse Disorder. My theory: It’s due to lack of genetic diversity caused by the use of hives instead of traditional bee shelters. Hives were introduced around the 1860s.
Bee shelters allowed bees to swarm together and swap swarms – also allowed workers to swap information between colonies.
Hives are more efficient for honey production but don’t allow the bees to wander between colonies so easily.
Modern bees (the Buckfast) are largely derived from that Monk in Devon’s work about 100 years ago.
It isn’t so long as that genetic disorder would be unlikely or so short as that it wouldn’t have been able to become prevalent.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Jazznick
November 7, 2014 4:49 am

And MALE bees are not workers….they don’t pollinate….they are more like alarmists…(:>))

Just an engineer
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
November 7, 2014 6:01 am

From Wiki
“A class of strategy of great biological interest is that of sexual deception, where plants, generally orchids, produce remarkably complex combinations of pheromonal attractants and physical mimicry that induce male bees or wasps to attempt to mate with them, conveying pollinia in the process. Examples are known from all continents apart from Antarctica, though Australia appears to be exceptionally rich in examples.[11]”

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
November 7, 2014 4:34 pm

As a general rule, male bees and wasps are less efficient pollinators than females or workers, but they do visit flowers and can be important pollinators. For example, bumble bee drones are useful late season pollinators (males are produced in mass in the fall as colonies breakup and pollination ‘services’ from workers declines). Also, as ‘Just and engineer notes’, there are a number of orchids that look and smell like female wasps or bees and take advantage of randy males attempting to copulate with them. However, as ‘Jazznick’ implies it seems strange that highly specialised orchid pollination systems – which must have taken a long time to evolve – would be susceptible to a few degrees warming given that they have survived much larger changes in the past. The press release is just another house of cards built on ‘could be’s’ instead of real bees and designed to make a shonky study seem more important than it is. It is just more crying wolf while the real threats to orchid pollination (undoubtedly habitat destruction is at the top) are ignored.

Reply to  Jazznick
November 7, 2014 1:09 pm

Does any body have any facts on how long Orchids have survived so far? Seems to me they’ve probably survived rougher conditions than the present worst case scenario could deal out.

November 7, 2014 3:00 am

it seems like temp rise pushes birds to live in the cities which can be up to 10- 20 degrees hotter than the countryside.
“Portland, Oregon. From great blue herons living along rivers in town to swifts roosting in local chimneys, Portland finds ways to celebrate all kinds of urban birds.
New York City. America’s biggest city hosts an astonishing variety of birds, especially in parks like Central Park, where organized bird walks are held almost every day in spring and fall.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its location along Lake Michigan makes this a prime birding city all year. From ducks and gulls in winter to migrating hawks in fall and warblers in spring, there are always birds to see in Milwaukee’s parks and nature centers.
Tucson, Arizona. Since 2001, Tucson has organized a citywide bird count every spring. Cactus wrens, verdins, curve-billed thrashers and other desert birds thrive even in the heart of town.
Austin, Texas. Austin is famous for live music and other cultural highlights, but it’s also a hub of birding activity. Lakes and parks along the Colorado River bring abundant bird life to the city center.
St. Petersburg, Florida. Surrounded on three sides by the waters of Tampa Bay, the city teems with birds in all seasons, including pelicans, egrets, ospreys and more. Migration brings warblers and other songbirds to every park in town”

November 7, 2014 3:53 am

Given birds evolved from dinosoars, I think they will be all find in 2075.

Reply to  Patrick
November 7, 2014 4:26 pm

Where are all the dinosaurs now? Oh yeah…they couldn’t adapt to changing conditions and all died out. Good analogy!!

November 7, 2014 4:06 am

Fortunately for the birds, they don’t listen to the USGS.

Reply to  John
November 7, 2014 4:25 pm

Fortunately for science and humanity’s future, the USGS doesn’t listen to armchair scientists either…

November 7, 2014 4:12 am

They have not been to my yard. I do not have “bird feeders”, I have “birds as food”. The cats love the Blue Jays.

Reply to  philjourdan
November 7, 2014 4:55 am

That does not work so well in Australia/New Zealand. Cat’s ARE a real problem here/there. When I lived in New Zealand and owned a cat (Rescued) I strapped a collar to him (And he faught me tooth and claw) that had bells and shiny objects on it. It was so funny watching him stalk birds in the garden. He never caught a single bird, native or otherwise. Owners should be more responsible. I had him “seen to”…lol…what a day that was! Of his three other brothers, he’s the only one who still lives.

November 7, 2014 5:25 am

Conspicuously absent from the list are crows, magpies, and Spetzer’s cowbirds. Listing only desirable species marks the report as propaganda.

Reply to  Gamecock
November 7, 2014 8:30 am

[snip . . using multiple alias is against site rules. . mod]

Reply to  huskertsd
November 7, 2014 8:56 am

Not intential, the first time didn’t show up just entering info, then it asked me to log in with a WordPress login, which I had. Didn’t mean to reply with 2 aliases, but now am logged in and will reply with just WordPress.

Reply to  Gamecock
November 7, 2014 8:32 am

[snip . . you are using two handles. That is against site rules and common decency . . mod]

Reply to  Gamecock
November 7, 2014 8:57 am

Hard to analyze a species that doesn’t exist…”Spetzer’s Cowbird”. Note the list does include Brown-headed Cowbird, about as undesirable a species as there is. Don’t make up issues that don’t exist.

Reply to  sdakotab
November 7, 2014 12:37 pm

The list published in this thread did not include the cowbird.
I called it Spetzer’s Cowbird because Spetzer mentioned it.
“Don’t make up issues that don’t exist.” Like ‘Hard to analyze a species that doesn’t exist…”Spetzer’s Cowbird”.’
Yada. Yada. Yada.

Reply to  sdakotab
November 7, 2014 4:12 pm

[snip – we don’t care, take your snark elsewhere -mod]

November 7, 2014 6:33 am

The USGS was the premier geology and natural resources arm of the US government…50 years ago. Geologists, like me, aspired to work for the USGS upon graduation so we would be exposed to the best. The wheels of this bus came off long ago, You would be hard pressed to find a (rock) geologist on the phone list these days. This article is evidence that the once proud USGS has gone to the birds!

Alan McIntire
November 7, 2014 6:50 am

None of these scare stories consider that the tropics have the largest variety of species, largely because the extinction rate is lower there- less survival pressure. As the “Porgy and Bess” song goes,
“Summertime…. and the livin’ is easy .”

Reply to  Alan McIntire
November 7, 2014 12:18 pm

Such a nice song.

November 7, 2014 7:30 am

Mr “anti-carbon” reports on a new plant. Must have been all that CO2, or not, or maybe all that tax, or not.

November 7, 2014 9:46 am

I just sneezed.

November 7, 2014 12:56 pm

Note also that the National Geographic Society has wandered afar as well. Nat Geo Mag has had articles on artificial limbs, sleep disorders, etc. They seem to be Popular Psychology/Popular Medicine wannabes.

Gunga Din
November 7, 2014 1:35 pm

I’m going to run out and put up a bird feeder right now!
When I’m 121 I’ll let you know if they’re right.

November 7, 2014 4:23 pm

Just a thought…perhaps one of you might actually want to read the actual study? Nah…that’s asking too much. Don’t want to clutter things up with fact.

Reply to  sdakotab
November 7, 2014 5:03 pm

Mr. Watts provided a synopsis. There is no reason to read further.

Reply to  Gamecock
November 8, 2014 6:55 am

Uh…That’s exactly the point of the paper, that birds will move north as climate changes.

Reply to  Gamecock
November 8, 2014 6:57 am

Mr. Watts just copied and pasted the USGS press release, about the level of his k owl edge on the subject.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Gamecock
November 9, 2014 4:24 pm

Sorry Sdakotab; but I’ve got to rewrite your statement to make it more accurate.
“That’s exactly the point of the paper, that birds will move north IF climate changes.”
And that “if” is only valid when the world continues to warm over the nexty 60 years at the rate assumed (guessed, projected, predicted).
Other “ifs” that would not validate the paper are:
If the world does not warm.
If the world cools.
If the population of the US doesn’t act according to the model assumptions.
If the farming practices do not prgress as assumed in the model assumptions.
If a million other things don’t proceed as assumed in the model assumptions.
The whole thing is projection. This is not science. It’s rubbish.

November 7, 2014 4:59 pm

Oh so although they predict (incorrectly) a temperature change, they them act as if the birds won’t have enough sense to follow the climate band they thrive in? Idiots

Reply to  JBP
November 8, 2014 7:01 am

Man…that’s the entire point of the paper, dude. That birds will follow warming temps north. Sigh…

Michael Oxenham
November 8, 2014 3:05 am

This is the sort of B$ the RSPB publishes. Stopped my sub 7 years ago.

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