By Paul Homewood
h/t Paul Kolk
Could this headline be any more fraudulent?
British bird lovers will see a very different pattern of species as the climate warms, according to scientists.
They say climate change is bad news for birds, but locally we will see “winners and losers”.
Migrants seldom seen on British shores, such as black-winged stilts and bee-eaters, are delighting bird watchers.
But populations of cuckoos are “in freefall” as UK wildlife struggles to cope with multiple pressures.
In nature-depleted Britain, almost half of all bird species are in decline due to a host of pressures – from the loss of meadows, hedgerows and other natural land to climate change and the use of pesticides.
The number of wild birds in Britain has fallen by 73 million since 1970, according to the British Trust for Ornithology, which studies birds in the British Isles.
The above graph has no relevance whatsoever to the issue of migratory birds. And since most of the decline occurred in the 1970s & 80s, it clearly has nothing to do with climate change either. As the article itself admits, bird populations have been declining for decades because of things like loss of habitat and pesticides. You do not need to invoke the climate bogeyman at all, particularly since there is zero evidence that climate has made any difference at all.
As for this supposed “freefall”, all the BBC can point to are cuckoos and willow warblers.
The Woodland Trust make clear that, while willow warbler populations have been dropping in southern England, they have been increasing in the north.
As willow warblers like open woodland and eat mainly insects, it is highly likely that changes to habitat are the cause of these shifting patterns.
The BBC’s claim that “Climate change is one of the biggest pressures that all species are facing, but particularly migratory species, because they have to worry about the climate conditions not only where they’re breeding, but also where they’re wintering and the areas that they’re travelling through to get here, which can be thousands of kilometres”, clearly is not supported by the ability of the bird to thrive in Scotland.
As for the cuckoo, this is what the Woodland have to say:
Apart from these two birds, the BBC offer no other evidence to back up their headline, that UK migratory birds are ‘in freefall’ over climate change.
Most other migratory birds are doing fine, or at least as well as British species.
It may be that a few uncommon birds decline, but others also appear to be on the increase.
For the BBC to imply that there is some sort of catastrophe going on is simply fraudulent.