About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Warm winter is bad news for the birds in the long run

For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. Jacques-Yves Cousteau

In the short run a warm winter for the birds that live in Michigan year-round is a good thing. The birds have a lot of natural resources available and don’t visit the feeders for supplemental food as often. So what is the downside? Because resident birds are feasting now, when migratory birds return in early spring there will be little food left. Research released by the U.S. Geological Survey showed different weather patterns are changing migration habits and threatening hundreds of species.

Eric Waller, a research scientist for USGS and lead author of the study, wrote that birds rely on things like day length to determine when seasons are changing. But as climate change disrupts those cycles, while day length remains constant, birds get mixed signals to determine when to migrate. Buds, blooms, and bugs may all be devoured by local birds before migratory birds show up.

“Spring is arriving much earlier across most of North America, and there is important geographic variability to that change,” says Waller. “These migrating species may have trouble accommodating that variability and may suffer declines in food resources, fitness, survival, breeding success, and ultimately the population of the species.”

But while it will take massive international regulation to slow or stop climate change, there are a few things nature lovers can do to help out. You can create a bird friendly yard with plenty of food, water and shelter to make it a welcome habitat for resident birds and a “stopover site” for migratory birds to rest and recuperate.

Among the most popular reasons that people feed wild birds is that they want to help. With more weird weather predicted, feeding birds is one of the best ways to impact the world around you.

The simple act of putting out a bird feeder and keeping it clean and full can greatly improve the chances that birds and their offspring will survive. Many believe that birds only benefit from feeders during certain times of the year. However, birds actually have a year-round need for reliable, steady food sources. Click to download our Feeding Birds Makes a Difference infographic.

Related Articles:
Meeting Your Birds' Nesting Needs http://meeting-your-birds-nesting-needs.html
What seeds do wild birds eat? http://what-seeds-do-wild-birds-eat.html
When should I feed the birds? http://feeding-year-round.html
How to choose the best suet cake http://bit.ly/xATYPQ
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh

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