Long-distance flyers arriving earlier

July 4, 2006

European researchers have found that birds who migrate long distances are arriving at their summer breeding grounds earlier.

Reporting in the journal Science, the group says that long-distance migrants appear to be adapting to warmer temperature changes as quickly as short-distance ones. Scientists had assumed that birds that do not travel far would change patterns more quickly.

In an interview with the BBC, Nils Christian Stenseth of the University of Oslo called the long-distance shift a "surprising and interesting evolutionary response to climate change."

The team compared the times of birds' arrival in Europe using information going back more than 20 years from banding stations in Italy and Scandinavia. They compared changes in arrival times for birds that migrate a few miles north with those migrating from Africa to Europe.

Stenseth said that because most birds start breeding when they are only a year old, genetic adaptations happen relatively quickly.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Particles self-assemble into Archimedean tilings

December 8, 2016

(Phys.org)—For the first time, researchers have simulated particles that can spontaneously self-assemble into networks that form geometrical arrangements called Archimedean tilings. The key to realizing these structures ...

Protein disrupts infectious biofilms

December 8, 2016

Many infectious pathogens are difficult to treat because they develop into biofilms, layers of metabolically active but slowly growing bacteria embedded in a protective layer of slime, which are inherently more resistant ...

Electron highway inside crystal

December 8, 2016

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.