Climate change

Whether you believe the scientists or not, our climate and environments are changing each year and people are starting to notice. We have all seen the changes in the weather and the media reporting the wettest or warmest month on record. You might even see changes in your garden at home. All of this is affecting our wildlife and birds.

But how do these changes affect our birds of prey in the UK? Most of you reading this will be well aware of how all of our wildlife is linked and dependent on being synchronised, so even gradual changes have a big effect. Bird populations are controlled by breeding success and survival rates, for example if a female Barn owl does not reach an optimum weight prior to breeding she will not breed. This is dependent on the survival and population of small mammals.

Small bird populations can affect the success of Sparrowhawks and of course small bird populations are governed by the emergence of insects and plants. Climate change also affects our migratory birds including species like Hobbies and Honey buzzard.

We must also mention that in our battle to curb climate change we are constantly developing technology to ease our pressure on the environment. One of these is Wind turbines which can also have a negative effect on bird of prey populations and flight paths.

IMG_2118

Monitoring Honey Buzzards for wind turbine developments in Wales

You can find out a bit more on climate change and the effects on birds by visiting the BTO website http://www.bto.org/science/climate-change

Note – It must be pointed out there are multiple views and opinions on climate change. We couldn’t possibly publish all here but the BTO is a good place to start.