Claim: Birds are laying their eggs earlier, and climate change is to blame


Hundred-year-old museum collections help show that birds are nesting earlier in the spring

Peer-Reviewed Publication

FIELD MUSEUM

Egg collections
IMAGE: A DRAWER FROM THE FIELD MUSEUM’S EGG COLLECTIONS. view more 
CREDIT: BILL STRAUSBERGER

Spring is in the air. Birds are singing and beginning to build their nests. It happens every year, like clockwork. But a new study in the Journal of Animal Ecology shows that many species of birds are nesting and laying eggs nearly a month earlier than they did a hundred years ago. By comparing recent observations with century-old eggs preserved in museum collections, scientists were able to determine that about a third of the bird species nesting in Chicago have moved their egg-laying up by an average of 25 days. And as far as the researchers can tell, the culprit in this shift is climate change.

“Egg collections are such a fascinating tool for us to learn about bird ecology over time,” says John Bates, curator of birds at the Field Museum and the study’s lead author. “I love the fact that this paper combines these older and modern datasets to look at these trends over about 120 years and help answer really critical questions about how climate change is affecting birds.”

Bates got interested in studying the museum’s egg collections after editing a book about eggs. “Once I got to know our egg collection, I got to thinking about how valuable that collection’s data are, and how those data aren’t replicated in modern collections,” he says.

The egg collection itself occupies a small room crammed full with floor-to-ceiling cabinets, each containing hundreds of eggs, most of which were collected a century ago. The eggs themselves (or rather, just their clean, dry shells, with the contents blown out a hundred years ago) are stored in small boxes and accompanied by labels, often hand-written, saying what kind of bird they belong to, where they’re from, and precisely when they were collected, down to the day.

“These early egg people were incredible natural historians, in order to do what they did. You really have to know the birds in order to go out and find the nests and do the collecting,” says Bates. “They were very attuned to when the birds were starting to lay, and that leads to, in my opinion, very accurate dates for when the eggs were laid.”

The Field’s egg collection, like most, drops off after the 1920s when egg-collecting went out of fashion, both for amateur hobbyists and scientists. But Bates’s colleague Bill Strausberger, a research associate at the Field, had worked for years on cowbird parasitism at the Morton Arboretum in the Chicago suburbs, climbing ladders and examining nests to see where Brown-headed Cowbirds had laid their eggs for other birds to raise. “He had to get out there every spring and find as many nests as he could and see whether or not they were parasitized, and so it occurred to me that he had modern nesting data,” says Bates. Chris Whelan, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, also contributed to the modern dataset with songbird nesting data collected in Chicagoland starting in 1989 when he began work at the Morton Arboretum. Whelan and Strausberger’s contributions to the study were critical, Bates says, because “finding nests is a lot harder than almost anybody realizes.”

“Finding nests and following their fate to success or failure is extremely time-consuming and challenging,” says Whelan. “We learned to recognize what I called ‘nesty’ behavior. This includes gathering nest material, like twigs, grass, roots, or bark, depending upon bird species, or capturing food like caterpillars but not consuming the food item — this likely indicates a parent is foraging to gather food for nestlings.” Whelan and his team used mirrors mounted on long poles to peer into high-up nests and kept close track of the dates when eggs were laid and hatched.

The researchers then had two big sets of nesting data: one from roughly 1880-1920, and another from about 1990 to 2015. “There’s a gap in the middle, and that’s where Mason Fidino came in,” says Bates. Fidino, a quantitative ecologist at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and a co-author of the study, built models for analyzing the data that allowed them to address the gap in the middle of the 20th century, as well as the differences in sampling between early egg collectors and Whelan and Strausberger’s research.

“Because of this uneven sampling, we had to share a little bit of information among species within our statistical model, which can help improve estimates a little bit for the rare species,” says Fidino. “We all realized rather quickly that there may be some outliers present in the data, and if not accounted for, could have a rather large influence on the results. Because of this, we had to build our model to reduce the overall influence of any outliers, if they were present in the data.”

The analyses showed a surprising trend: among the 72 species for which historical and modern data were available in the Chicagoland region, about a third have been nesting earlier and earlier. Among the birds whose nesting habits changed, they were laying their first eggs 25.1 days earlier than they were a hundred years ago.

In addition to illustrating that birds are laying eggs earlier, the researchers looked for a reason why. Given that the climate crisis has dramatically affected so many aspects of biology, the researchers looked to rising temperatures as a potential explanation for the earlier nesting. But the scientists hit another snag: there aren’t consistent temperature data for the region going back that far. So, they turned to a proxy for temperature: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“We couldn’t find a single source of long-term temperature data for the Midwest, which was surprising, but you can approximate temperature with carbon dioxide levels, which are very well documented,” says Bates. The carbon dioxide data comes from a variety of sources, including the chemical composition of ice cores from glaciers.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time neatly maps onto larger temperature trends, and the researchers found that it also correlated with the changes in egg-laying dates.  “Global climate change has not been linear over this nearly 150-year period, and therefore species may not have advanced their lay date in non-linearly as well. Therefore, we included both linear and non-linear trends within our model,” says Fidino. “We found that the simulated data was very similar to the observed data, which indicated that our model did a decent job.”

The changes in temperature are seemingly small, just a few degrees, but these little changes translate to different plants blooming and insects emerging– things that could affect the food available for birds.

“The majority of the birds we looked at eat insects, and insects’ seasonal behavior is also affected by climate. The birds have to move their egg-laying dates to adapt,” says Bates.

And while birds laying their eggs a few weeks early might seem like a small matter in the grand scheme of things, Bates notes that it’s part of a larger story. “The birds in our study area, upwards of 150 species, all have different evolutionary histories and different breeding biology so it’s all about the details. These changes in nesting dates might result in them competing for food and resources in a way that they didn’t used to,” he says. “There are all kinds of really important nuances that we need to know about in terms of how animals are responding to climate change.”

In addition to serving as a warning about climate change, Bates says the study highlights the importance of museum collections, particularly egg collections, which are often under-utilized. “There are 5 million eggs out there in collections worldwide, and yet, they’re very few publications using museum collections of eggs,” says Bates. “They’re a treasure trove of data about the past, and they can help us answer important questions about our world today.”

###


JOURNAL

Journal of Animal Ecology

DOI

10.1111/1365-2656.1368 

SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

Animals

ARTICLE TITLE

Climate Change Affects Bird Nesting Phenology: Comparing Contemporary Field and Historical Museum Nesting Records

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

25-Mar-2022

From EurekAlert!

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John Tillman
March 25, 2022 6:03 pm

That Chicago is now a mighty, pertoleum- and electricity-powered metropolis and not a pestilential, miasmic swamp has no effect?

It’s all down to 1822 being in the Little Ice Age Cool Period and 2022 in the Modern Warm Period, one degree warmer globally?

Last edited 2 months ago by John Tillman
Bryan A
Reply to  John Tillman
March 25, 2022 6:28 pm

A number of bird species (songbirds in my neighborhood) are nesting earlier AND many are fledging young 3 times in the season instead of just 2. I know we have flight school in late April early July and mid September

John Tillman
Reply to  Bryan A
March 25, 2022 6:42 pm

Climate fluctuates naturally on decadal, centennial, millenial and longer time scales. Birds and other animal, fungal, plant and microbial groups adapt.

DaveW
Reply to  John Tillman
March 26, 2022 1:34 am

Also note: “Because of this, we had to build our model to reduce the overall influence of any outliers, if they were present in the data.”, so dates unfortunately out of tune with the narrative could be excluded. They also used CO2 concentration as a proxy for temperature – isn’t there a name for this type of fallacy?

Museums are great resources, but their collections should not be misused to pretend that they were valid sampling protocols for things like the start of nesting season.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  DaveW
March 26, 2022 3:57 am

The presence of significant outliers is a prime indicator that you don’t have a gaussian distribution that can be described using typical statistical parameters like standard deviation. These types of distribution are better described using minimum, lower quartile, median, upper quartile, and maximum.

It’s truly sad to see so-called scientists culling data in order to make it “easier” to analyze.

Amy Jackson
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 26, 2022 6:56 am

Combined with CO2 fertilisation leading to more food shorter winters will mean a higher survival rate compensating for the birds being killed by windmills.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 26, 2022 8:55 am

According to testimony by a prominent paleo climatologist in testimony before a Congressional panel reviewing the “Hockey Stick” procedures, such cherrypicking is common in the field.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Bryan A
March 25, 2022 11:47 pm

Combined with CO2 fertilisation leading to more food shorter winters will mean a higher survival rate compensating for the birds being killed by windmills.

Wade
Reply to  Bryan A
March 26, 2022 5:11 am

The extra nesting is required because of all the birds that the “green” wind farms keep chopping up.

Reply to  Bryan A
March 27, 2022 8:08 pm

Fledging does not identify when the eggs were laid, when the eggs were first incubated or exactly when the eggs hatched.
Better sources of necessary foods contribute to faster growth.

jimmy joe meeker
Reply to  John Tillman
March 25, 2022 7:04 pm

Of course the big city being a urban heat island, security lights on all night (warmth and safety from predators), lots of heated buildings, change in options for nesting sites, etc and so on has absolutely no effect, it has to be climate change, the funding says so.

Mr.
March 25, 2022 6:09 pm

Nature doesn’t function by a 12-month calendar.
Nor does it just have 4 annual seasons in all regions.

Critters great and small do their thang whenever they sense the timing gives them their best chance of thriving.

Female kangaroos for example suspend their fertility for years until they sense that a favorable season is imminent.

Tom Halla
March 25, 2022 6:11 pm

Chicago is definitely built up enough to have an UHI effect, but being warmer than the end of the Little Ice Age is a good thing.

Kalsel3294(@kalsel3294)
March 25, 2022 6:32 pm

If egg collecting was popular a 100 years ago, what effect would those birds who had been robbed had by laying more eggs later to replace those lost.

Last edited 2 months ago by kalsel3294
jimmy joe meeker
Reply to  Kalsel3294
March 25, 2022 7:06 pm

Maybe they adjusted their habits to avoid the egg collectors?

Pauleta
Reply to  jimmy joe meeker
March 25, 2022 7:44 pm

Not impossible in more than 100 years of these predators.

I worked in a Museum and the story was that US zoologists would go to South America and pay kids to grab whatever fauna they could get. There are collections with thousands of specimens collected on the same day. Jars and jars and drawers and drawers

Steve Case
March 25, 2022 6:48 pm

And as far as the researchers can tell, the culprit in this shift is climate change.
_______________________________________________________________

Winters (November-April) in Illinois have warmed up since the 19th century.
Summers (May-October) have not.

comment image

So spring arrives a little earlier and the birds respond. Someone has to tell me why this change involves a “culprit”? Earlier springs up until 40 years ago when this nonsense started weren’t generally regarded as caused by a culprit. Guardian Angel or a loving God, perhaps, but certainly not a culprit.

John Tillman
Reply to  Steve Case
March 25, 2022 6:58 pm

Baby birds getting a bit of a head start on life is a good thing.

Unless they’re starlings.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Tillman
Michael Elliott
Reply to  Steve Case
March 25, 2022 7:06 pm

You can blame the so called “”Climate Change””, ie CO2 , on anything that changes.

When I was much younger, we called it the seasonal change

Michael. VK5ELL

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Michael Elliott
March 25, 2022 10:17 pm

Higher CO2 levels should make it easier for birds to produce their calcium carbonate egg shells….just sayin’….

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 26, 2022 1:41 am

Higher CO2 levels should make it easier for birds to produce their calcium carbonate egg shells…

Noo! Wrong message. Higher CO2 levels cause atmospheric acidification, this make it harder for birds to produce their calcium carbonate egg shells.. See? You must always look on the dark side of life.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 26, 2022 6:23 am

Yes, more acidic rain would dissolve those shells right in the nest. I’m with you Phil, darker gets more clicks…..

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Steve Case
March 26, 2022 4:12 am

Ag scientists say the growing season is expanding. Last spring frost is happening earlier, first fall frost is happening later, and max temps in summer are moderating. This means the correlation with CO2 is highly suspicious. If CO2 were the cause of higher temps then you would see higher summer temps, not moderating temps. Much more likely to be a multiplicity of cyclical causes rather than just one – CO2.

MGC
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 27, 2022 9:25 am

Sorry, Tim, but wrong. This kind of climate behavior is *exactly* what was predicted … decades ago … from warming due to CO2 emissions: more pronounced warming in the winter, not so much in the summer. This data directly supports CO2 emissions as the primary warming mechanism.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MGC
March 27, 2022 10:03 am

This kind of global climate behavior was not and is not what is being predicted. All the predictions of food shortages from higher temps, increased desertification from higher temps, increased loss of entire species, increased numbers of and greater destruction from extreme weather, and increased acceleration of sea level rise WERE ALL DEPENDENT ON HIGHER Tmax TEMPERATURES mostly in the spring and summer.

And yet the ag scientists simply do not find this to be the case. The most recent ag study on growing seasons concludes that even national averages are misleading. The study says climate impacts must be studied on a county-by-county basis. Trying to make global predictions is even more misleading than national averages.

MGC
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 27, 2022 11:34 am

Tim, say what? In your first comment you stated:

“Ag scientists say the growing season is expanding”

but in your next post you said:

“The most recent ag study on growing seasons concludes that even national averages are misleading.”

Uh, which is it? You seem to be contradicting yourself.

I would agree that climate impacts do need to be looked at on a local basis. For example, some parts of the world are becoming drier while other parts are becoming wetter.

And for the most part, these local trends (like for instance, a drier U.S. Southwest but a wetter U.S. Northeast) *are* following the predictions for those local behaviors that were made decades ago.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MGC
March 28, 2022 5:44 am

No contradiction at all! The national average is what it is. So is the global average temperature. That doesn’t mean the either one correctly measures regional or local climates. Applying the CAGW prescriptions for a rising global average temp *everywhere* is just the one-size-fits-all illogical argument.

The US Southwest has been classified as a semi-arid desert as far back in US written history as you care to go. The central High Plains are similar. It’s why the native prairie grasses have roots that can go down eight feet or more. Nothing has changed in either region that hasn’t happened before. Those “predictions” are nothing more than a restating of history by those whose “history” began the day they were born. The same applies for the Northeast US.

PCman999
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 27, 2022 11:39 am

You know what, the increasing CO2 WOULD lead to moderating summer highs as it would absorb and re-emit the IR coming directly from the Sun (climate scientists forget that side of the coin) and any increasing minimums (nighttime or winter) would help to increase evaporation and the formation of clouds that would block the Sun.

CO2 might lead to warming but only because the average is being pushed up by higher minimums.

Think of how Southern Ontario Canada can be hotter than Bali – in summer of course! Drier, clearer skies in Ontario, overcast and humid in Indonesia.

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
Reply to  Steve Case
March 26, 2022 11:19 am

Steve ==> The author’s of the paper make a similar mistake — saying that there is no teperaute record for Chicago that goes back to the 1890s. — But that is not true.

I’m going to post on this paper — because it shows an interesting scientific logical fallacy.

They want to blame global warming — but no one hands them a temperature graph so they just use something else — in this case CO2 because…..everyone knows CO2 = Temperature. Which is false, obviously.

Too nutty to contain in a comment.

MGC
Reply to  Steve Case
March 27, 2022 9:21 am

Actually, Steve Case, it was predicted decades ago that exactly this kind of climate behavior (i.e. more warming in the winter than in the summer) would occur because of specifics of the human CO2 emissions warming mechanism. Moreover, we generally would not expect this type of behavior with other “natural” warming mechanisms.

So thank you, Steve Case, for providing another piece of supporting evidence to confirm that yes, human CO2 emissions are indeed what are warming the planet.

Steve Case
Reply to  MGC
March 28, 2022 6:33 am

 Moreover, we generally would not expect this type of behavior with other “natural” warming mechanisms.

So thank you … for providing another piece of supporting evidence to confirm that yes, human CO2 emissions are indeed what are warming the planet.
_______________________________________________________

From the tone of your post it looks like you are a card carrying climate alarmist. And as such you are leaving out the part that says a warming planet is a looming catastrophic disaster amounting to an existential crisis. Am I wrong about that? Was that a straw man argument?

PCman999
Reply to  Steve Case
March 27, 2022 11:30 am

In a sane world, cooler summers, warmer winters, longer/earlier growing season, more free fertilizer in the air, etc., would be welcomed and cheered. But it’s obviously not a sane world.

Steve Case
Reply to  PCman999
March 28, 2022 6:22 am

And the in the IPCC’s AR4 in Chapter 10 a [Ctrl F] search on “Growing” comes up with 7 hits on “Growing Seasons” indicating that in temperate climates growing seasons will be longer. But the IPCC fails to point out the obvious, as you did, that this should be welcome news and cause for celebration. Chapter 10 also tells us that there will be more precipitation, but a search on “drought” comes up with 12 hits for that.

H B
March 25, 2022 6:58 pm

Food supply anybody in a city where people feed the birds

RickWill
March 25, 2022 7:12 pm

Spring is in the air. Birds are singing and beginning to build their nests.

Where on Earth is spring in the air. In Australia, we are into moderate autumn weather.

If the authors claim spring is in the air then I know it is Northern Hemisphere focused. And with March boreal sunshine trending up it is to be expected as orbit perihelion moves closer to March.

You will not hear much about later springs in Australia being tied to climate change. But here is one little snippet:
https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/dec/09/delayed-gratification-a-slow-start-hasnt-dampened-australias-cherry-season-cheer

For many in Australia, a surefire way to tell the festive season has started is by the arrival of cherry season. Depending on the region, cherry harvests normally run from mid-November to as late as the end of February; this year, however, thanks to a record-breakingly wet and cold November, the season has been delayed.

Australia is trending to have less spring sunshine, which will result in wetter, cooler springs.

Mr.
Reply to  RickWill
March 25, 2022 7:23 pm

which particular part of Australia is trending to have less spring sunshine and wetter, cooler springs Rick?

It’s a huge place, Oz, as you know.

RickWill
Reply to  Mr.
March 25, 2022 11:27 pm

Not only Australia but the whole Southern Hemisphere. That condition has trended for about 500 years since perihelion last occurred before the austral summer solstice.

Since 1500 the drop in top of atmosphere sunshine over the SH land masses during the austral spring has been:
Sept down 1.5W/sq.m
Oct down 2.4sq.m
Nov down 2.7W/sq.m

When perihelion aligns with the boreal summer solstice 10,000 years from now, the December insolation over the SH land masses will be down by 32W/sq.m from present. That will ensure cooler and more regularly wetter summers for Australia.

Drake
Reply to  RickWill
March 26, 2022 8:52 am

I can’t wait to see that. Only 10,000 years, goody!

ozspeaksup
Reply to  RickWill
March 26, 2022 2:46 am

sure was a LOT cooler spring into summer in Vic temp avgs down 2c or so and frosts until november out west vic tomatoes started early just sat marrows and vines were a waste of time planting for many chillis only just starting to flower , last few weeks its way late

John Tillman
Reply to  RickWill
March 26, 2022 7:58 am

Over 90% of humans live in the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern Hemisphere is 81% ocean. One of its continents is mostly covered by ice and another mainly by desert. Three others partially in the SH have large tracts of jungle, not ideal human habitat. So does the northern portion of the desert continent, ie New Guinea.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahul

Last edited 1 month ago by John Tillman
John Shotsky
March 25, 2022 7:16 pm

Good grief…is there no end to which the global warmers will go? Birds lay their eggs in a given season when the conditions are best for the eggs to survive to be chicks. They don’t go by the gregorian calandar, they go by much smarter methods – those conditions which humans seem to be ignorant to.

commieBob
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 25, 2022 7:27 pm

… is there no end to which the global warmers will go?

You’re kidding … right?

Clyde Spencer
March 25, 2022 7:21 pm

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time neatly maps onto larger temperature trends, …

Yes, if one is willing to wait 800 years!

Clyde Spencer
March 25, 2022 7:26 pm

Alarmists have no shame. They attempt to attribute any and all changes to anthropogenic CO2, and consider all change to be bad — except when their grants are increased.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 25, 2022 8:29 pm

CO2 has been transmogrified into a thermometer!

Opus
March 25, 2022 7:35 pm

The reason I read WUWT, climate change.

Pauleta
March 25, 2022 7:42 pm

There’s nothing that CO2 cannot do. The God molecule, we are living in blessed times.

I think the only thing CO2 cannot do is make these people intelligent and smart.

Mike Lowe
March 25, 2022 7:47 pm

Great to think that the birds can detect an increase of ambient temperatures of about one degree. Presumably spread over about 30 generations, that’s quite an achievement!

Robert B
March 25, 2022 7:51 pm

“Strausberger’s contributions to the study were critical, Bates says, because “finding nests is a lot harder than almost anybody realizes.”

You reckon that they might have just waited for better weather to go out and collect the eggs, 100 years ago?

“We couldn’t find a single source of long-term temperature data for the Midwest, which was surprising, but you can approximate temperature with carbon dioxide levels, which are very well documented,” says Bates. The carbon dioxide data comes from a variety of sources, including the chemical composition of ice cores from glaciers.”

This is just stupid. You have temperature record from at least 1960. I think the Keeling curve is bollocks, but even if you accept it as robust, there is barely enough warming due to increasing CO2 before it to influence anything.

Steve Case
Reply to  Robert B
March 25, 2022 8:35 pm

You reckon that they might have just waited for better weather to go out and collect the eggs, 100 years ago?
____________________________________________________________

Good one!

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Robert B
March 26, 2022 9:36 am

They want to use ice cores from Greenland, which they have to do chemical analysis on, determine the CO2 content, then assign a temperature too through models, but can’t find even one temperature record from within 100 miles of Chicago? How do you even corelate CO2 and temperature without a temperature record? Please help us!!
The reason they don’t want to use temperature records is because they show the US Midwest cooling during the past 90years.

DMacKenzie
March 25, 2022 8:30 pm

So they laid their eggs later during the Little Ice Age. Smart birds.

Gordon A. Dressler
March 25, 2022 8:36 pm

From the above article’s first paragraph:

“And as far as the researchers can tell, the culprit in this shift is climate change.”

. . . and one is left wondering if the “researchers” ever considered that the 25-50% additional greening (i.e., documented increase in vegetation leaf area; ref: https://climate.news/2019-04-26-nasa-declares-carbon-dioxide-is-greening-the-earth.html )around the world due to the 20% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration over just the last 35 years* might be a reason—even the primary reason—some birds are now laying their eggs earlier than they did 120 years ago.

Is the increase in atmospheric CO2 level equivalent to climate change™? . . . not as far as I know, despite alarmist cries to the contrary.

*[342 ppm CO2 in 1984 vs. 412 ppm CO2 in 2019 = 1.20, data from https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/mlo.html ]

Last edited 2 months ago by Gordon A. Dressler
DMacKenzie
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 26, 2022 6:32 am

The change in nest counts could be something silly like housecats becoming more numerous in the local community …. Inferring stats after the fact is just inviting confirmation bias.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 26, 2022 9:38 am

Has the climate changed? Or is it just slightly warmer a little earlier?
I’m sure if the climate actually changed the birds would have moved to a climate that was more suitable.

PCman999
Reply to  Matt Kiro
March 27, 2022 11:52 am

Well, actually the climate has become more suitable and comfortable for the birds, that’s why they are laying earlier and even able to sneak in an extra set of chicks before things get to cold.

But that beautiful news interferes with the climate crisis cult and so these hit pieces/articles come out trying to spin this into a bad thing.

I’ve seen one or two articles also trying to piss on the 20% greening of the Earth over the past 5 decades, trying to find something to complain about.

Steve Case
March 25, 2022 8:40 pm

“We couldn’t find a single source of long-term temperature data for the Midwest,
________________________________________________________________

NOAA Climate at a Glance

Oldseadog
Reply to  Steve Case
March 26, 2022 3:58 am

That isn’t a single source, Steve, that is a multiple source.
You can’t use data that refutes your argument.
You really must keep up.

Peta of Newark
March 25, 2022 8:46 pm

Quote:”help answer really critical questions about how climate change is affecting birds.”

Why ‘critical”
What exactly is The Crisis here?

Quote:”The birds have to move their egg-laying dates to adapt,
They don’t have to do anything apart from what is in their own best interests
Is that wrong, are they misbehaving?
Who are you to tell the birds how to behave?

Quote:”The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time neatly maps onto larger temperature trends,
The amount of CO2 is mappable onto any number of things.
Why ‘large‘ – what might a small temperature trend be or look like
Wait a minute, didn’t you say somewhere you didn’t have any much temperature data?
You’re not just making this up are you?

Quote:”which indicated that our model did a decent job
I’ve just done a decent job of picking my own nose but ain’t broadcasting it to the world.
(oops)

Quote:”Global climate change has not been linear over this nearly 150-year period
Chicago might some small part of the globe but it is not = The Globe

Quote:“we included both linear and non-linear trends within our model,
Do you understand the difference between linear and non-linear?
iow: How does your model come up with anything sensible when it divides by zero – as is required in non-linear situations?

Quote:we had to build our model to reduce the overall influence of any outliers
Translate: We ignored data that didn’t fit our preconceived notion.

Quote:”in addition to serving as a warning about climate change,
How exactly is ‘birds doing what birds do‘ any sort of warning about anything?

The Coup-de-Grace: (pay attention Shirley, you’ll like this)

Quote:”about a third have been nesting earlier and earlier.

Only one third? and earlier? not or earlier, nand earlier or heaven forbid, xor earlier.

Well, that really rather trashes your Global Climate Theory doesn’t it?
Thank you Fiddle-De-Dino: Please close the door on your way out – no rush to come back.

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 26, 2022 12:00 am

Did you wonder why they miraculously failed to find any data from the rather warm 1930s?

And no shells anywhere from the very cold C.18th, despite the very well documented collections of the naturalists of the period?

Shucks!

Almost as if the very first thing they wrote down was their conclusions and then just worked back from there to “justify” them.

Post Normal Science at its best.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 26, 2022 8:49 am

You posted:
“Quote: The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time neatly maps onto larger temperature trends,
The amount of CO2 is mappable onto any number of things.”

This is so very true . . . it amazing that so many people even today do not understand that correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

One of the best parodies on this subject is an article published by Jamal Munshi titled “EXTRATERRESTRIAL FORCING OF SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: A PARODY” that shows the increasing sightings of UFO’s over time closely “maps onto” global warming (free download of full paper available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3144908 ).

MeanOnSunday
March 25, 2022 8:54 pm

So 2/3 of the species didn’t change and there is no pattern to those that did change. Closely related species give differing results. But of course it must be CO2 that’s responsible. We mustn’t even consider possibilities such as increasing population making it easier to detect early nesting dates, winter feeding in urban and suburban areas improving reproductive fitness, urban heat island effects on insect populations and other food sources.

Margaret LaFranier
March 25, 2022 9:17 pm

For many years poultry farms have depended upon the use of light to keep hens laying eggs throughout the dark winter months. They keep light at spring and summer levels. Given that our cities and suburbs are not only heat islands, but also sources of much ambient artificial light, the effect of so many light sources might cause the early egg supply more than any climate change. Have birds in North Korea also resorted to earlier nesting and egg laying?

PCman999
Reply to  Margaret LaFranier
March 27, 2022 11:56 am

Awesome!

Dave Fair
March 25, 2022 9:56 pm

Apparently this study was not peer reviewed. It only took a short time to find out:

1) Contrary to assertions in the study, there are Chicago temperature records going back to 1873 for the Chicago area. From the Chicago National Weather Service Office and National Climate Data Center:

comment image

2) The temperature data clearly show there was cooling from 1880 to 1920 and the temperatures from 1990 to 2015 were warmer, but were cooler on average than the period of missing data, 1921 to 1989. Their statistical methods for correlating nesting dates to atmospheric CO2 concentrations is clearly incorrect when considering that actual temperatures’ possible correlation with nesting dates would theoretically be a better predictor. They said they used CO2 because it was correlated with temperatures, which is not supported by any study of which I’m aware.

3) There is no indication they used professional statisticians in their analyses of the data. Because of uneven sampling, they mixed rare species results with more common birds in their statistical model. Additionally, they had no gap data but made up a model to fill in for the mid-20th Century. What the the model showed is not evident.

4) Like paleo climatological people, they removed “outlier” data from the dataset they analyzed (Cherrypicking).

5) They did not indicate how their statistical model accounted for the differences in sampling methods between the earlier and later periods.

6) Chicago National Weather Service precipitation data show that the early 1880 period was much drier than the 1990 to 2015 period.

comment image

Apparently the study authors didn’t look into possible nesting habit changes due to varying precipitation.

All in all a weirdly documented study by a group of true CAGW believers.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Fair
Hoyt Clagwell
March 25, 2022 10:31 pm

The study should be titled, “Birds found fully capable of adapting to weather changes”

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
March 26, 2022 12:06 am

Absolutely.

And my cat has a far better grip on whether rain is likely, than even the most lavishly funded weather forecasters.

guidoLaMoto
March 26, 2022 12:04 am

So, they conclude that birds are adapting to changing weather…Isn’t that a good thing, falsifying the contention that climate change is deletory?

When they account for land use changes in the Chicagoland over the past century and it’s effect on foood sources for the birds, then maybe this propaganda piece will have some credence…..A century ago, urbanization extended west of L. Michigan to Cicero Ave (~6 miles W of the shoreline.) Today, you don’t find farms E of Rt 47– 50 miles west of the lake….They even mention themseves that nesting/egg layng depends on food availability. With such tremendous loss of habitat, that food source has no doubt changed drastically.

We won’t even bother contesting their reliance on the innaccurate correlation of co2/ & temps on this short time scale.

How does this stuff get published?

Alan the Brit
March 26, 2022 12:07 am

Personally I think wild-life has no shame whatsoever, how dare it adapt to variations in the Earth’s climate, why don’t they just become extinct instead of rolling up their sleeves/feathers, & adapting to changes thrown at them by nature, utterly shameful!!! Sarc off!!! I fear that certain sections of mankind have had their heads stuck up somewhere about their person for far too long!!! All it needs is for that giant fusion reactor in the centre of the Solar System to sneeze, then we’ll have something to really worry about, unfortunately!!!

Ireneusz Palmowski
March 26, 2022 12:11 am

Rainfall approaching California, strong cooling in the Midwest.comment image

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
March 26, 2022 9:11 am

Thanks, Ireneusz. Great visual of the Atmospheric River coming my way.

gbaikie
March 26, 2022 12:15 am

The solution to the coming global famine, is to eat bird eggs.

March 26, 2022 1:08 am

Lake Michigan is warming faster than the norm. This will affect the local ecology by ALW, Anthropogenic Local Warming.

There are other examples of ALW in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, North Sea, Lake Tanganyika, Baikal etc. If only we could think of a reason why some water covered areas which are severely polluted by oil and surfactant runoff reducing albedo and evaporation are warming anomalously rapidly.

The Sea of Marmora is the canary in the coal mine — they’ve even got added lipids from sewage fed diatoms. I think that one’s 6 deg/century.

JF

Tom.1
March 26, 2022 1:53 am

I find it hard to believe that last and first frost dates are not well known going back in time. I laughed when it talked about using CO2 as a substitute for temperature. What rubbish.

Diane Hernandez
March 26, 2022 2:05 am

A number of bird species (songbirds in my neighborhood) are nesting earlier AND many are fledging young 3 times in the season instead of just 2. I know we have flight school in late April early July and mid September

griff
March 26, 2022 2:19 am

Absolutely the same is observed in the UK, which has a long and detailed record of egg laying dates…

Early breeding | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
March 26, 2022 9:20 am

“… which has a long and detailed record of egg laying dates…” as exemplified by a study beginning in 1960 which is in the middle of the 20th Century cooling period.

rah
March 26, 2022 2:37 am

Meanwhile the Robins arrived here in my central Indiana yard two weeks ago and this morning there is a dusting of snow on my deck.

On Monday I was down at the BASF/XPO facility just outside the Airport at Huntsville, AL. I left my window cracked when I laid down in the sleeper to take my break and went to sleep listened to a Mocking bird going through is repertoire of calls. Quite extensive.

Drake
Reply to  rah
March 26, 2022 9:17 am

We had a Mockingbird who would, every spring, sit on the street light pole in front of our house and sing an extensive repertoire of songs starting before daybreak. I had to have a white noise maker in my bedroom at the BACK of my house so I could sleep until time to get up for work. He was REALLY loud. Don’t know if it was the same bird, but that went on for 20 years.

Now we have a roaming dog, Luna, who is showing up at our mountain cabin almost every morning at dawn, barking for treats and food. Yes, she has a home and is fed there, but my loving wife of 39 years has begun to feed her, so there you have it. Luna will be back regularly and I will be awake before I would naturally awaken. Being retired, I have no set time, although at this point, Luna is not coming to bark much earlier than I would get up anyway.

ozspeaksup
March 26, 2022 2:41 am

lots more warm spots in city n burbs and endless food always available , if youre a smart bird you might even get two clutches per yr

Barry James
March 26, 2022 3:48 am

Who are the suckers paying for the production of this trash?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Barry James
March 26, 2022 9:21 am

You and me.

Teddy Lee
March 26, 2022 4:01 am

Birds have moved on from the the LIA. Darwin approved this message.

pigs_in_space
March 26, 2022 4:08 am

Lucky birds.
Now they can have lower mortality than their ancestors

Bruce Cobb
March 26, 2022 4:09 am

…you can approximate temperature with carbon dioxide …

Yes. Because correlation = causation. Everyone knows that. Science!

VOWG
March 26, 2022 4:35 am

Cycles. Interesting word that. Covers a lot of what happens.

Coach Springer
March 26, 2022 5:03 am

My immediate reaction is “You were tracking egg laying for tens of thousands of years?” Or just since Michael Mann laid the egg?

Mark Whitney
March 26, 2022 5:54 am

WARNING! Animals may adapt to changing conditions and void all imagined crisis scenarios!

Jim
March 26, 2022 7:15 am

The earth is getting greened and there are larger growing areas and CLIMATE CHANGE IS TO BLAME.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jim
March 26, 2022 11:20 am

On an small island in river Rhine near our home, black kites are breading every year. They have no fix day to start their activities.
They return during the first 2 weeks of march or last February week to come back from southern Europe, have a look at their nests, disappear for around 2 weeks to forage for food after their long flight and come back, when the trees are greening and hide the nests and start breeding. Nothing unnormal as behaviour, they do every year…

Some pictures

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 26, 2022 2:26 pm

Parakeets in the snow. So not global warming, then.

Reply to  John Tillman
March 26, 2022 3:03 pm

In our German region, snow is not unusual, parakeets not.
They escaped some decades ago and propagate since that time, their origin is inter alter, northern India up to the Himalaya, snow isn’t unusual in their domestic region.
(Psittacula krameri and Psittacula eupatria, both live here in growing numbers)

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 26, 2022 3:35 pm

Yes, they seem just to fluff up their feathers and carry on.

Blackadder says that there is no German word for “fluffy”. Richtig oder falsch?

Reply to  John Tillman
March 27, 2022 2:21 am

At least there are translations characterizing it very well, flauschig or flaumig, the last is based on the small and warming feathers.
Who is Blackadder ? 😀

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 27, 2022 9:55 am

A character created by British comedic actor Rowan Atkinson:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackadder

Those words do appear cognate.

Gerald Machnee
March 26, 2022 3:02 pm

Comparing today to 100years ago is crap science.
If you want to do a study on time of egg laying you have to do it EACH YEAR, then compare the results.
I will wager that you will find a cycle.

MGC
March 27, 2022 9:40 am

Wow! Do my eyes deceive me? For once, an article on WUWT that actually discusses the reality of significant anthropogenic climate change. As the old saying goes, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then”.

But here in the comments section, we sadly find so many willfully ignorant WUWT sheeple blindly bleating all their pseudo-scientific excuses in order to continue to deny reality. “Its just a natural cycle, not human caused”. “Cherry picked data”. “CO2 has nothing to do with it.” “Urban heat island” and on and on and on and on. All nothing but blind regurgitation of head-in-the-sand, long-known-to-be-false, anti-science talking points routinely bandied about in the WUWT fantasy land echo chamber of denial. So shameful.

Fortunately, the real world continues to move forward toward dealing with the CO2 warming issue, ignoring all the anti-science fairy tale handwaving found here.

PCman999
March 27, 2022 11:24 am

The climate cult is so inexerably indoctrinated that they are blind to all the undeniably good benefits that warmer temperatures, earlier growing and mating/nesting seasons, and higher CO2 levels have given to the biosphere.

Gary Pearse
March 27, 2022 2:28 pm

“These early egg people were incredible natural historians, in order to do what they did. You really have to know the birds in order to go out and find the nests and do the collecting,”

Duh! Yeah, I remember Dr. Bill Bozo, he used to come back with pine cones. We had to let him go. Interestingly a recent study shows that the guys in the 20s took so many eggs that the birds started laying their eggs a month earlier. Apparently it worked because egg collecting stopped in subsequent years.

Justa Joe
March 27, 2022 5:50 pm

I’ve lived in Chicago +50 years, and there is no appreciable difference in the weather.

March 27, 2022 8:05 pm

determine that about a third of the bird species nesting in Chicago have moved their egg-laying up by an average of 25 days.”

Chicago, a century ago, is not the Chicago of today with it’s massive Urban Heat Index. An UHI ignored by climerati and NOAA.

Then there is the specious claim regarding one third of the birds are nesting earlier.
Odds are, the birds in that modern .333 of the population are primarily invasives accustomed to urban environments.

“By comparing recent observations with century-old eggs preserved in museum collections”

No mention regarding comparisons of definitive species of 1822 being compared to the same exact species in current day Chicago.

Hivemind
March 28, 2022 4:06 am

“a month earlier than they did a hundred years ago”

Wonderful. A hundred years ago we were in the little ice age. No wonder birds are able to lay eggs earlier. It gives their young more time to grow & there’s probably more food about. Isn’t global warming wonderful?

Tom Bri
March 28, 2022 5:53 pm

They claim no long-term weather records. Maybe they are just lazy? U of I Ag school maintains weather records.

TadLindley
March 29, 2022 7:56 am

Ornithologists, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t bird mating controlled by changing day length and not by temperature? Certainly “day length” has been grossly distorted by widespread electric streetlights.

Red94ViperRT10
April 8, 2022 8:27 am

there aren’t consistent temperature data for the region going back that far. So, they turned to a proxy for temperature: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Well, so much for that study. At least as far as linking it to “Climate Change™”. In the records where we do have both temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels, they do not correlate. Since at least 1960, temperatures have gone up, temperatures have gone down, temperatures have gone sideways, all while atmospheric CO2 continued to increase at an almost constant slope. So how could they possibly use atmospheric CO2 levels to determine temperature?

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