Claim: Baby Birds Can't Cope with Climate Change

All the baby birds will starve unless we change our wicked ways.

Climate change leaves birds hungry as chicks hatch too late to eat caterpillars

Earlier springs in UK are throwing animals’ natural rhythms into disarray, resulting in population declines

Josh Gabbatiss Science Correspondent

Monday 23 April 2018 16:15 BST

Warmer springs due to climate change are leaving chicks in UK woodlands hungry, according to new research.

“Previous work has shown a mismatch does lead to population declines,” Dr Karl Evans, one of the study’s authors at the University of Sheffield, told The Independent.

Dr Malcolm Burgess, a bird researcher at the University of Exeter and the RSPB who led the research, added: “Forests have a short peak in caterpillar abundance, and some forest birds time their breeding so this coincides with the time when their chicks are hungry.

“With spring coming earlier due to climate change, leaves and caterpillars emerge earlier and birds need to breed earlier to avoid being mismatched. We found that the earlier the spring, the less able birds are to do this.”

“Birds shift the timing of breeding, and they tend to breed earlier in springs that are warmer – but the manner in which they are shifting isn’t sufficiently rapid, that’s the theory,” said Dr Evans.

“People are starting to look at whether there’s capacity for evolutionary change to improve their ability to match, but the evidence is very mixed at the moment.”

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-hungry-birds-chicks-late-caterpillars-spring-woodland-flycatchers-a8318366.html

The abstract of the study;

Tritrophic phenological match–mismatch in space and time

Malcolm D. Burgess, Ken W. Smith, Karl L. Evans, Dave Leech, James W. Pearce-Higgins, Claire J. Branston, Kevin Briggs, John R. Clark, Chris R. du Feu, Kate Lewthwaite, Ruedi G. Nager, Ben C. Sheldon, Jeremy A. Smith, Robin C. Whytock, Stephen G. Willis & Albert B. Phillimore

Increasing temperatures associated with climate change may generate phenological mismatches that disrupt previously synchronous trophic interactions. Most work on mismatch has focused on temporal trends, whereas spatial variation in the degree of trophic synchrony has largely been neglected, even though the degree to which mismatch varies in space has implications for meso-scale population dynamics and evolution. Here we quantify latitudinal trends in phenological mismatch, using phenological data on an oak–caterpillar–bird system from across the UK. Increasing latitude delays phenology of all species, but more so for oak, resulting in a shorter interval between leaf emergence and peak caterpillar biomass at northern locations. Asynchrony found between peak caterpillar biomass and peak nestling demand of blue tits, great tits and pied flycatchers increases in earlier (warm) springs. There is no evidence of spatial variation in the timing of peak nestling demand relative to peak caterpillar biomass for any species. Phenological mismatch alone is thus unlikely to explain spatial variation in population trends. Given projections of continued spring warming, we predict that temperate forest birds will become increasingly mismatched with peak caterpillar timing. Latitudinal invariance in the direction of mismatch may act as a double-edged sword that presents no opportunities for spatial buffering from the effects of mismatch on population size, but generates spatially consistent directional selection on timing, which could facilitate rapid evolutionary change.

Read more (paywalled): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0543-1

Sadly the full study is paywalled, but in my opinion this study doesn’t pass the smell test.

Suggesting that birds might not have the capacity to adapt, when they clearly managed to adapt to far worse in the comparatively recent past, in my opinion is ridiculous.

Just under 13,000 years ago the world experienced the Younger Dryas. The Younger Dryas was a 1200 year catastrophic plunge in global temperature which struck with full force in as little as a few months. In the words of one researcher, “It would be like taking Ireland today and moving it up to Svalbard“.

Unusual spring weather likely does put pressure on baby birds. Britain frequently has late Spring cold snaps which probably causes harm to vulnerable fledglings. But the mild warming we have experienced over the last few centuries does not come anywhere close to the disruption radical climate shifts of the past like the Younger Dryas must have caused – climate shifts which most bird species obviously survived.

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dodgy geezer

So… environmentalists have been complaining for years that Humans shouldn’t have any children. Now they are pushing the same idea out onto birds?
Birds! Why grow up only to die between the blades of Big Green’s bird mincers? Cheat the industrial combines by dying before you leave the nest…

GeologyJim

Nice touch, Eric Worrall, of using a still shot from Hitchcock’s classic 1963 fright movie, “The Birds”
As I recall, this was the scene just before the crows took flight and started pecking at the poor little school children in Bodega Bay, CA.
Every time I see lots of birds perched on wires or in the trees these days, I have to think “They’re up to something”
Just remember, they came from dinosaurs!

Ve2

Alfred Hitchcock was a prophet.

“… they came from dinosaurs! ”
And not from the placid herbivores !

Ian Magness

This is extraordinary. This is the second British spring study (see Paul Homewood’s notalotofpeopleknowthat site) to be rushed out over the last week – when you’d have thought that, at this stage of the year, it would be sensible to include 2018 statistics. Apparently not.
Like the other study, this is just nonsense. In fact, due to a mild March in 2017 but a nasty cold snap in the second half of April involving numerous night-time frosts, countless bird nests in southern Britain (I can only speak for the area in which I live) failed in 2017. Many, but by no means all, birds nested again so we had a lot of late juveniles of a variety of species in the summer and, with bigger birds, even into the early autumn. I think that’s called “adaptation” and it can clearly happen pretty rapidly.
I’m afraid the cynic in me is thinking that the only reason these studies have come out now, is that the bitter March in 2018, which has put nature’s processes back over a month from what I perceive is the average in my area, is going to make these studies look stupid as the 2018 data will definitely not follow the narrative.
Surely I am wrong?

Here in Northern California the delay in budding/flowering/bug hatches is closer to 2 months as compared to the previous 5 springs. The delay in understanding shown by the above study is too hard to calculate.

John M. Ware

Here in east central Virginia, March averaged nearly 8 DF below average*, and April so far is about 5 DF below average. I grow daylilies, and usually the first bloom from the early cultivars comes around April 5 to 10, with two of the last three years on April 2 (earliest ever). This year, I finally got to see the first bloom, April 23, a full three weeks later than last year and possibly the latest since I moved here in 1993. Cold mornings are hanging on stubbornly, and it’s been hard to get out to the garden to do things, at least until the afternoon warmth.
*The average here, in Mechanicsville, is compared to the long-term average in Richmond, 12 miles southwest; the Richmond average is recorded at the airport, and during the nearly five years of my own record, the Mechanicsville temperature does average a couple of degrees lower than that at RIC.

Eustace Cranch

Hi neighbor! I’m just up the road from you in Glen Allen. Yeah, it’s been a frickin’ cold March and April around here. My March heating bill was higher than February’s. 🙁

Phil R

Hi, neighbors, I’m just to the southeast of you, in Norfolk.

Sara

I’m several hundred miles to the west of you guys, and I am just now starting to see leaf buds open on trees. I’m still putting out bird food, but my little lawn still looks like the end of March, not the end of April.
Not the first late spring ever, but if this is a pattern, we need to ask – realistically, if it is short-term or long-term and what is driving it? Low solar output? Too much cold air coming south? It’s almost May. If I take a trip to a popular fishing pond 8 miles north of me in a state park/wetland area, will I see more lags in sprouting plants, trees and grasses, and will insect emergings be late again this year?

oeman50

I work in Glen Allen and live in Richmond.

TA

I’m in Oklahoma and we are waiting to see if this April will break the record and be the coldest April on record.
It’s about the coolest April I can remember.

AllyKat

We should have a Virginians for Global Warming party. Average April temps are ~5 DF lower than usual. Dulles Airport set a record in March: temps dropped below freezing for 20 days IN A ROW.
Spring is a crapshoot every year. Spring in temperate climes seems to have been a crapshoot for pretty much all of recorded history. People being surprised by spring weather seems to be a constant.

Old England

One of the greatest, and carefully avoided problems, for song birds in the UK is the uncontrolled magpie populations in towns and cities that predate upon eggs and chicks. Declining numbers of songbirds are constantly being complained of by environmental organisations and the RSPB, but they avoid all discussion about magpie predation.
Rats and Grey Squirrels are another huge cause of songbird predation but it seems that ‘Climate Change’ is a preferred “cause” for their decline.
Studies have shown that a breeding pair of magpies will strip every egg and chick from songbirds’ nests in half a mile of hedgerow during the breeding season. I watched one Magpie yesterday morning at about 6.15am trying to frighten a Robin off its nest in a hedge close by the farm house to get at the eggs, it stopped when I shot it. That has saved a robin family from oblivion. They’re usually incredibly wary but it was so intent on getting the eggs that it failed to see me.

mariec

The domestic cat is a far bigger threat to song bird populations. Cull those first.

John F. Hultquist

mariec April 24, 2018 at 7:00 am
The domestic cat is a far bigger threat to song bird populations. Cull those first.

I read this about 3 times a month. I have not read any studies that show it, and see almost none myself.
House windows and auto kills I have seen, but just a few.
Habitat removal from building development and carving woodlands into small parcels — interior of the forest is no longer large enough to be a deterrent from predators (that is, too much edge, not enough area).
If there are proper studies, suggest it to the MODS, and someone can post it.

Sara

I think raptors like the redtailed hawk and turkey buzzard are a higher threat to birds than cats. Herson, for example, will grab chicks right out of a woodhen’s nest while she’s sitting on it. Put more blame on the birds preying on each other than on cats. I had a mater pair of mallards wander through my yard on Friday afternoon and stop for birdfood and grasses, and my stray cat ignored them. They’re more likely to lose duckling to a Coopers Hawk, which I’ve seen around here, too, than a cat.

Chimp

Studies in the US have found horrific predation by cats upon birds. Might be different in the UK:
http://www.audubon.org/news/feral-cat-predation-birds-costs-billions-dollars-year

mariec

Hi John F. Studies aside, the small birds in our garden and at our feeding stations ignore the local magpies, they are untroubled by their proximity, an observation, stretching over many years, that does not imply habitual predation. This is no more nor less anecdotal than the original comment. On the other hand we have personally rescued several birds, including one magpie from the jaws of the local cats.

chris moffatt

not wrong. It has been a hard winter throughout the northern hemisphere. Here in eastern Virginia, as in many other places, spring events are a good three weeks behind schedule. Birds are only now pairing up and some, such as the goldfinches, still not yet in full breeding plumage. Not to worry; many species (eg cardinals, wrens, robins) will have as many broods as time allows – often three. But it would be a good change to see the alarmists tell the truth for once that the recent “climate change” (in reality a normal variation in weather patterns) has made things cooler and winter longer, at least in the northern hemisphere.

Surely, you are on target!

J Hope

Birds are descendants of dinosaurs. They’ll survive. Probably longer than humans will!

Bill

Swallows arrived at almost exactly the same as last year as the have been doing since I moved to Norfolk(UK) ten years ago. They come as 3, leave as 20+. Right now they are mating and refurbishing last years nests. The blackbirds already have young in the nest. Do I live on a different planet to these F***wits? Yes I think I do- I’m not funded to talk nonsense. Incidentally the blossom was late this year due to cold weather, isn’t that a direct contradiction to the 20+ days earlier meme? I assume that if temperature and CO2 (ahem) were lower we’d be enduring dreadful weather as the norm according to these arguments, producing less food and going back to Little Ice Age conditions- peachy.

Ian Magness April 24, 2018 at 2:29 am
This is extraordinary. This is the second British spring study (see Paul Homewood’s notalotofpeopleknowthat site) to be rushed out over the last week – when you’d have thought that, at this stage of the year, it would be sensible to include 2018 statistics. Apparently not.

The paper was submitted in 2016 so it’s unreasonable to expect it to include 2018 data.
I’m afraid the cynic in me is thinking that the only reason these studies have come out now, is that the bitter March in 2018, which has put nature’s processes back over a month from what I perceive is the average in my area, is going to make these studies look stupid as the 2018 data will definitely not follow the narrative.
Surely I am wrong?

Given the normal publication delay I think you are wrong.

It seems climate science alarmism is trying to create an alternative biology. A kind of anti-Darwinism. The left never really liked Darwin (see: Lysenko, Stephen J. Gould, IQ debates: both anti-Eysenck and modern anti-twin studies, …). Nature isn’t really ‘fair’. They portray life as a pathetic, weak victim, unable to survive changes in weather. It ties in with a portrayal of humans as victims from political correctness. One set of political ideas unconsciously transfer to ideas in an entirely different realm when you give up on reason.

Thomas Homer

“life as a pathetic, weak victim, unable to survive changes in weather” …
perhaps we can extend the set of Laws for the Theory of Evolution:
1. Missing Link
2. Random genetic mutation
3. Species can only adapt to imperceptible environmental changes

Species can only adapt to imperceptible environmental changes

You really need to give some strong evidence before I agree to that.

TonyL

Honk! Honk! Honk!
What is that?????
Canada geese, going about.
The migration is much more interesting, when you care to pay attention.
In The Autumn:
They fly south during the afternoon, heading for warmer climates.
In the morning. they fly north, *almost* back to where they started from.
Progressively, they work their way south, but not all at once.
In The Spring:
They fly north during the morning, heading for breeding grounds.
In the evening. they fly south, *not so far* as where they started from.
Progressively, they work their way north, but not all at once.
Geese are powerful, and can cruise at ~55+ mph. (sustained)
Imagine what that means, due north or south for two hours. They get into a whole different ecological area. And they go back and forth every day.
They are airborne, it is not a problem for them!
(After observing this, that is why we developed commercial air travel. — but I digress)
Climate change, for a bird, is absurd. They fly from climate zone to climate zone on a whim. And they do it all the time.
For them, it is just a matter of the local weather at the time.
Stupid Geese are flying over and honking right now. (headed *north*)

John F. Hultquist

2 questions:
A. Why do I see them going east/west?
B. Why do they make so much noise?

Sara

A – Food and water and other geese
B – Because they want your attention. No, really, it’s a reflex developed to keep track of each other when flying in the dark.

TonyL April 24, 2018 at 2:51 am
Climate change, for a bird, is absurd. They fly from climate zone to climate zone on a whim. And they do it all the time.
For them, it is just a matter of the local weather at the time.

Perhaps you should read the paper. For example the authors point out that the Pied Flycatcher in the study migrates from N Africa, if they do so in response to the local weather it’s not clear that it will correlate with the weather in N England.
“Of the three bird species, migratory pied flycatchers show the greatest mismatch with caterpillar availability, the predicted peak nestling period being consistently later than peak caterpillar timing. If pied flycatcher migration times are mediated by African conditions25,26,27 or constraints en-route28, this may limit their ability to advance their arrival times, even if once they have arrived they are able to respond to spring temperatures on breeding grounds29.”

Gamecock

‘Increasing temperatures associated with climate change’
Temperatures are weather.
Climate change is politics. Bird migration is unaffected by politics.

Trebla

Let me see if I fully understand the anti AGW approach to problem solving here. Global warming causes a reduction in the bird population, so we must build wind turbines to reduce global warming and in the process, reduce the bird population. Did I get it right?

spangled drongo

As a keen bird observer and data logger I know that in the area where I do this there is a variation of at least 10c in the countryside that I can observe from my front yard at any one instant [mountains, valleys, cities etc.] plus a daily temp variation of at least 20c.
How does that compare with the less-than-1c-global-warming that has occurred since the end of the little ice age?
Not only does it not even equal natural climate variability that birds cope with easily but both they and their food source would be completely unaware of the change except that, as courting and breeding have increased with the warmer weather there is likely more competition for that same food source.
Just noticing the increased activity of the cuckoos that parasite these birds, it is easy to see that birds generally, take every advantage of any warmer weather to get their pleasures.
They don’t consult the calendar and neither do their food source.

Sara

I’m still not seeing any bugs out so far in my area.

spangled drongo

Sara, I should have said I’m in the Southern Hemisphere [Qld, Aust] which is having what you would call an Indian Summer at present.

Hugs

“Birds shift the timing of breeding, and they tend to breed earlier in springs that are warmer – but the manner in which they are shifting isn’t sufficiently rapid, that’s the theory,” said Dr Evans.

I’m sure the end is near. /sarc

Tom Gelsthorpe

This claim that baby birds are going to die is another variation on the “Silent Spring” scenario. That 1962 book by Rachel Carson is often cited as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. It warned that pesticides were going to kill everything, and spring would be quiet as a tomb instead of musical with bird song.
I read “Silent Spring” as soon as it came out, and worried considerable. Didn’t happen, though. Neither have any of the other popular doomsday scenarios. Nevertheless, doomsday remains a popular theme for writers. So what if you’re wrong? If you become a celebrated author, go on lecture tour for a few years, repair to a comfortable country getaway on the proceeds, and bask in accolades for decades to come, it’s not a bad life.
I later read and stupidly got the impression that Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 book, “Walden,” was the beginning of the modern environmental movement. In more recent years, thanks to essays by Michael Crichton and others, I’ve had the impression that doomsday scenarios based on human sins go all the way back to the Bible chapter about the Garden of Eden. We’ve all done something dreadfully wrong, are going to live in misery, and ruin it for everybody else unless we mend our wicked, wicked ways. If we’re really, really, REALLY good, we can get to the sunlit plateau called “sustainability” where nothing bad will happen ever again. Presumably foxes won’t even raid chicken coops anymore, because they, too, will be cleansed of sin.
In real life, the record is more complex, and more mixed.

ripshin

Tom,
Indeed, “The sky is falling” is the constant refrain one hears…somehow always used to justify a restriction of our freedoms, or an unnecessary imposition of additional costs, or the continued centralization of power, or… or… or… ad nauseum…all the way to the den of foxey loxey. I’ll never understand how it is that some are convinced “It’s different this time. This is for real.” Truly we a foolish and shortsighted species.
rip

Tom in Florida

“If we’re really, really, REALLY good, we can get to the sunlit plateau called “sustainability” where nothing bad will happen ever again. ”
So sayeth the Eloi.

Mike-SYR

Yes, first thing I thought of: “Silent Spring 2.0”

Tom in Florida

In summation, “Lookie here, we found a research topic that has not been funded yet.”

Scarface

Maybe nature has a way of dealing with these kind of changes? Like in the past millions of years?
It’s not about nature though, it’s all about blaming people and promoting mysantropy.

David Chappell

To me, that abstract is complete and utter meaningless crap. I shudder to think that not one of the 18 co-authors has said “C’mon guys and gals, this is not getting the message across”. I usually think that non-science-trained (read arts graduates) need some indoctrination in the scientific method but it is more important that so-called scientists need to learn how to write understandable prose.

TonyL

Nobody noticed yet?
The top photo is a still from “The Birds”.
A horror thriller movie where flocks of birds attack and terrify people.
A classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, which defined *scary* cinema.
A movie buff feature of his films is that Hitchcock usually appears in a cameo role, briefly, is his own movies. In this one, look for the rotund gent in the pet shop very near the beginning of the movie.
Here are the details:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birds_(film)

Sara

Oh, I noticed it. Tippi Hedren knew what was going on when she sat on that bench. I was surprised and still am, that the handlers could get crows to behave that well.

Rah

It does not matter if it’s birds in the UK, Polar bears in the Arctic, Penguins in the Antarctic, the GBR in Oz, or any of so many species or ecosystems anywhere on this planet. A huge part of the climate change industry is based on minimizing the ability to adapt by ignoring the climate history and catastrophes of the past that the Flora and fauna have survived.
After 20+ years of reading this kind of crap I am finding it difficult to be skeptical without becoming cynical.

mothcatcher

All change tends to be bad news for those who benefit from the status quo, and provides easy ‘science’ for those who wish to point to the downside of change. The upside is largely unknown, often unsuspected, and certainly unquantifiable, but it is there nonetheless. Same for any technological change, climate change, Brexit…..
Suppose I ought to read the actual paper before dismissing it but .. on second thoughts, I’ll dismiss it anyway. Highly improbable.

ozspeaksup

i left skeptic and cynical behind some time ago
now im just irate!
and i admit I just tend to call believers idiots and sheeple to their faces..and suggest they stop listening to talking heads on the msm and go do some real looking, of course they wont..that takes time n effort.
Just too old n way past suffering fools at all.

What difference does it make? The windmills will kill the birds as soon as they get big enough to fly anyway.

John F. Hultquist

Do you have evidence of many songbirds — the topic today — being killed by wind machines?
I haven’t found such a study.

quaesoveritas

According to a recent David Attenborough documentary, some bird species (Blue Tits) were able to control when their eggs hatched, depending on the weather.
Recent research apparently shows that they sit on their eggs more when the weather is warmer and less when it is cooler, contrary to expectations.

M Courtney

That is a lot of authors for this one paper.

MarkW

The number of authors on scientific papers is rising faster than global temperatures.

John F. Hultquist

I believe Willis E. claims there is a negative relationship between the number of authors and useful global warming research.

Latitude

Now if only spring would cooperate…….

Coach Springer

Evolution theory must have been revised to eliminate adaptation if attributable to CO2 directly or indirectly even if a quaternary relationship. Never mind survival of the fittest.

chris moffatt

Birds don’t just eat caterpillars. Many birds don’t eat caterpillars at all. Carnivorous birds eat a great variety of insects. Other birds are not carnivorous at all but eat a great variety of seeds. A study that raises alarums and excursions about one component of the diet of some birds is not terribly impressive or important. In any case if the AGWers are so concerned there is a simple answer. The May government, no stranger to ludicrous coercion by law, should just mandate birdfeeders at every home, place of business and public space. Boris the Clown can be the minister responsible for implementation; it will give him something to do other than annoying foreign diplomats

Gary Pearse

Are Jim Steele and Susan Crockford the only biologists out there who dare to take on the awful stuff put out by their activist colleagues. Biological sciences engaged all this Malthusian drivel long ago and this is why it has been frozen in an early stage of its development with no advances in the actual science in a century.
They were handed DNA, the most powerful tool ever to come along in the life sciences, and should be fully engaged in the biggest biological revolution since Darwin and not have time for me-too Lysenkoist harnessing of a crippled science to the ugliest anti-human, anti- life I’deeologie ever devised. Shame on all of us for allowing this pearl to be delivered to the Philistines.

ShrNfr

Talk about a study that is for the birds….

Curious George

Not only a study. The University of Exeter.

Bruce Cobb

And written by bird-brains.

WXcycles

ELSIE: Consider the lilies?
BRIAN: Uh, well, the birds, then.
EDDIE: What? What birds?
BRIAN: Any birds.
EDDIE: … Why?
BRIAN: Well, … have they got jobs?
ARTHUR: … Who?
BRIAN: The birds!
EDDIE: Have the BIRDs got jobs?!
FRANK: What’s the matter with him?
ARTHUR: He says the birds are scrounging!
BRIAN: huh, uhh, no, … the point is, the birds, they do all right, don’t they?
FRANK: Well, good luck to ’em!
EDDIE: Yeah. They’re very pretty!
BRIAN: Okay! And you’re much more important than they are, right? So, … what are you worrying about? There you are! … you see?
EDDIE: I’m worrying about what you’ve got against birds?
BRIAN: I haven’t got anything against the birds! … look, consider the lilies.
ARTHUR: Oh, he’s having a go at the flowers now!
EDDIE: Aww, … give the flowers a chance! …
ARTHUR: …Oh! He’s making it up as he goes along!
EDDIE: … Aw, he’s terrible! …
ELSIE: … Awww Get OFF!!

Michael Anderson

This article has resulted in some of the most hopeful comments I’ve ever seen at WUWT. YES, by all means let cynicism be your reaction to this overwhelming tsunami of junk science and its 24/7/365 promotion by government and mass media! Please, just don’t stop there – vote the SOBs out, write to network heads and let them know you will boycott products that sponsor their programming. Don’t just complain, take action! Think of the children, as the social justice imbeciles love to bleat.
As for the study itself, even leaving aside the fact that this spring is so cold (because they’ve already explained that as being the effect of AGW, look it up if you don’t believe me), it immediately brought to mind a field trip I made a few years ago to a gravel quarry outside Vancouver. I asked the geologist leading us if the gravel was all glacial till and he immediately replied that yes indeed, the entire region was under ice less than 5000 years ago. That came as a bit of a surprise, but I’ve learned since that of course, the Laurentian ice sheet didn’t all just retreat steadily northward at once. 5000 years ago, folks, when every species we can observe now obviously existed.
Someone here was spot on when they said that that victim mentality being projected onto animals is just another aspect of the entire leftist/environmentalist mindset. And they knew early on how easily most people are lead and what a powerful tool the Internet would be to disseminate their worldview. They’re not intelligent, but they are clever, and like good fascists everywhere, absolutely unshakeable in their convictions. No amount of factual, provable countervailing information is ever going to change their minds.
I know I wrote in another thread some time ago that frustration over inaction was driving me away from the entire issue, but this thread me hope. The left does a lot of complaining (my understatement of the day), but remember that at this point in our society’s history they have the power on their side. Time to take it back; time at long last to let reason inform power.

John F. Hultquist

“… under ice less than 5000 years …
You might want to check that number. It sounds low. The Frasier Glaciation was in fast melt about 10,000 years ago, maybe earlier near Vancouver. B.C.

Michael Anderson

I suppose I could check, but that was straight from the mouth of a geologist who spent his entire career in the area.

Michael Anderson

I’ll also add that even if it was 10,000 years it makes absolutely no difference – every existing species has adapted to climate change before.

Matt G

comment image

Sara

” And they knew early on how easily most people are lead and what a powerful tool the Internet would be to disseminate their worldview. ”
And it’s OUR JOB to make sure that the stupidity, the silliness, the fraud and the chicanery are exposed to the light of day with REAL facts, REAL backup and constant reminders that it’s a fight worth having. If we don’t fight the ignorance and the falsehoods, everyone loses.

Michael Anderson

But that’s my point entirely: it’s not enough to use the same tactics leftist media and politicians use, preaching to the choir over and over. Hit them where it hurts, in the wallet and the voting booth! If you learn your kids or grandchildren are being fed this crap at school, have a meeting with the principal, the teachers, the school board if necessary. I know it FEELS great to see them unmasked and marked – the question is, does it change anything?

Sara

That’s the purpose of blogs like this one, to get the funding for crap or junk science reduced and keep hammering away at the falsehoods and hysterical stories that are pure bunk.
You just have to be more patient than The They are.

R. Shearer

The birds in my neighborhood are quiet today and not finding bugs because it’s fracking snowing and the ground is covered with it. When it melts tomorrow, they will be back with the bugs.
I wouldn’t call this an early end to winter.

John F. Hultquist

I provide Sunflower seeds — little birds find the “black oil” type more suitable than the striped ones.
I’ve never tried providing them with bugs.

Sara

There are some places where you can get dried mealworms, which they seem to like. And suet is always welcomed by most birds, especially the woodpeckers.

ozspeaksup

if you have insectivore species you can put meat youve shredded with a knife edge out and fat as mentioned below dont use mince unless your 100%SURE its not got preservatives in it
and if you do put meat out then make sure its in a catproof spot;-) or theyll have the meat n the birdies for dessert

JohnWho

I printed the paper out and showed it to my pet parakeet.
Parakeet’s response:
It pooped on the paper.
I couldn’t have said that better myself.
/grin

mothcatcher

Are you sure it pooped? Must have been well camouflaged.

michael hart

“People are starting to look at whether there’s capacity for evolutionary change to improve their ability to match, but the evidence is very mixed at the moment.”

lol
That is a classic case of “Even an idiot can see there are obvious reasons why our arguments are probably complete BS. But if we don’t look too hard for contradictory evidence, then we conveniently won’t find any, and we will continue to get away with this tripe.”

Alan Haile

Earlier Spring? This article has been published just as Spring has finally started here in England. This has been one of the worst starts to a year that I can remember (I am 68). Snow, ice and bitter cold in London in March is not usual, but perhaps it is down to Climate Change after all and we are entering a new ice age.

Davis

Two summers ago the baby Robins were eaten by Ravens, last summer they were eaten by a cat, we took the nest down. In other news, there were a lot of birds at the feeder this spring, they do seem to be surviving.

Sara

I’ve seen squirrels try to go after robin nestlings in the tree outside my west window. I keep an eye open for that.

Pop Piasa

The cruelest bird behavior I see is English Sparrows raiding bluebird houses and ejecting the hatchlings. They are invasive disease carriers which like to commandeer other species’ nests.
The stupidest birds I see are Robins who see themselves in windows and try to mate with their reflections.

Sheri

Every time I read something like this, I imagine a climate scientist with a manikin that looks like Darwin, stabbing it over and over in the back with a knife.

Sheri

Just saw this on MSN: https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/why-has-this-severe-season-been-so-slow/vi-AAwbNMP
Maybe the birds are safe. LESS extreme weather so far. Imagine that!

Reasonable Skeptic

Clearly the problem here is that nature has 2 competing teams. Team A (Birds) is using the weather to dictate behaviour but Team B (insects) is using Gregorian calendars to do so.
I think it might be a good idea for the WWF to create new calendars to reflect the new weather, that way they will save the world and correct for what is clearly a flaw in nature.

AllyKat

Maybe they got confused by the whole “BCE/CE” thing…

Reasonable Skeptic April 24, 2018 at 9:33 am
Clearly the problem here is that nature has 2 competing teams. Team A (Birds) is using the weather to dictate behaviour but Team B (insects) is using Gregorian calendars to do so.

They do have ‘competing teams’ as reported in the paper:
“Among years, the timing of oaks and caterpillars is strongly positively correlated (Table 1a) and the major axis slope does not depart significantly from 1 (Fig. 2b and Table 1b). This result is consistent with the caterpillar consumer perfectly tracking the timing of the resource over time.”
“In late springs (that is, under colder conditions) peak demand from blue tit and great tit nestlings is expected to coincide with the peak resource availability, whereas pied flycatcher peak demand occurs soon after the resource peak (Fig. 3d–f). When caterpillar phenology is earlier (that is, warmer springs), the peak demand of nestlings is predicted to be substantially later than peak resource availability, rendering the nestlings of all three species mismatched, and pied flycatchers most mismatched.”
Egg laying takes place about a month before the peak caterpillar availability.

Michael Anderson

Occurred to me a few weeks ago that there are a lot of people with science degreese needing jobs (according to this nice little article, many millions: https://www.richardprice.io/post/12855561694/the-number-of-academics-and-graduate-students-in/amp ). To all true believers, alarmists, and other forms of pond life, for the sake of keeping it simple just remember this one thing: this isn’t a conspiracy theory or some other moronic pejorative of the kind you’re used to applying to skepticism. For the scientists involved it’s just plain simple human dishonesty inspired by the need to be employed combined with a weak or nonexistent ethical system of the sort that is so common place at this point in history
As for the politicians and media, if you don’t already know what to think of them, you should probably just go live in a cave. You’re already living in an intellectual one, might as well take the next logical step.
[? .mod]

Michael Anderson

I’ve never seen [?.mod] before but am assuming it means something like, “wtf? explain your premise please.”
I’m saying that every single scientist publicly onboard with AGW, and who publishes AGW-hysteric papers is being knowingly dishonest for the sake of employment – period. With what amounts to an annual glut of new science grads added to an existing population of millions, this should come as no surprise. Obviously I do not include scientists doing REAL science with the aim of benefiting humanity, e.g. the good angels at the National Ignition Facility.
My accusation extends all the way back to Jones, Briffa, Mann et all, with the single exception of Hansen, who is simply a nutjob who was in the right place at the right time – a blunt tool molded by Gore and the IPCC for their clearly nefarious ends. Government and media run on a steady diet of your money, so no surprise there either. Hope this is all clear, it’s hard to organize my thoughts into a post when dictating voice to text into my phone. 😛

Matt G

“With spring coming earlier due to climate change, leaves and caterpillars emerge earlier and birds need to breed earlier to avoid being mismatched. We found that the earlier the spring, the less able birds are to do this.”

Butterfly fossils date to the Paleocene, which was about 56 million years ago.
Some butterflies, especially in the tropics, have several generations in a year, while others have a single generation, and a few in cold locations may take several years to pass through their entire life cycle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly
Firstly, spring coming earlier and later occurs in cycles and is called weather. It takes about 60/70 years to cover the smallest cycle in climate.
It seems the warmer the climate, the more breeding opportunities for butterflies. Therefore more life cycles, more caterpillars available throughout the year for birds to feed. It is amazing when so called scientist use political like spin and avoid the facts for climate change, but nothing new there. The less able birds will have likely have more difficulties whenever spring starts.
When spring starts earlier it means snow melts so birds can feed from different insects and worms not reachable with snow cover. I can only see a potential minor problem if the bird species only feeds from caterpillars.
Would they rather winter stay until summer? Something good happens for wildlife and they try and spin some nonsense so they get some funding for climate change.

Birds shift the timing of breeding, and they tend to breed earlier in springs that are warmer – but the manner in which they are shifting isn’t sufficiently rapid

Already mentioned butterflies and moths shift the timing of breeding too and they also breed earlier in springs that are warmer. Very hard to believe that such a small timescale will make any difference when there are other food sources around even if this were true.
Springs vary every year and they have have been getting later over recent years in the UK with especially 2013 and 2018 been particular late. Warm weather causes all natural life cycles to breed earlier and some times cold weather catches them out, but seen little evidence how such a short time would make any difference? I’m sure long cold winters and much later springs are much more difficult for all wildlife.
Is there any evidence to any deaths of birds from this such short window?
The real truth being wind turbines kill birds including young, up to hundreds per year per turbine for the religion of climate change.

sophocles

Climate change leaves birds hungry as chicks hatch too late to eat caterpillars

I see. The brainless dimwitted caterpillars have got it right but the more intelligent and brainier birds haven’t.
What a … um … far-fetched and imaginative if not quaint notion. Considering the avia are the last surviving remnants of the dinosaur age, they’ve done pretty well to survive an extra 66 million years ….
Shame about the stoopid sky-entists.

nn

The weak birds will be Planned through Nature or Selection.

willhaas

The Earth’s climate is continually changing and changing has been going on for eons. Birds and their ancestors have been around for more than 100 million years with periods of climate change that were far more severe than today yet birds and their babies survived.

JS

Risselty, rosselty, now, now, now

J Mac

These were birds in the UK? Fine – feed them bangers and mash then.

Alba

Climate change causes Spring (ie, warmer weather) to come early. That’s trot out when we have an early Spring.
Melting ice in the Arctic caused by global warming (ie, climate change) causes temperatures in Europe to be colder. That’s trot out when we have exceptionally cold weather and lots of snow.
Heads I win, tails you lose.