Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Urban bird are lazy

The most succesful citizen science project of recent years - 6000 participants getting up on the shortest day to record the time birds arrived in their gardens to feed - has just been published (by the BTO's Garden Ecology Team). In a nutshell, birds in the (cold) countryside get up earlier than their (warmer) urban cousins to feed in the morning, in order to quickly refresh their energy reserves. Having spent a long night keeping warm, country birds need to be out and about early to feed in order to survive. On the other hand, urban birds protected by the 'urban heat island effect' with temperatures anything up to 8 degrees higher than country temperatures, dont need to feed as early as they have not used up as much fat reserve when keeping warm at night. Therefore it is much more critical to feed birds in the country than birds in the city (who equally dont have access to left over take-away and MacDonalds!)

Nancy Ockendon, Sarah E. Davis, Mike P. Toms and Sarah Mukherjee (2009). Eye size and the time of arrival of birds at garden feeding stations in winter. Journal of Ornithology (Published online-early)
web: http://www.springerlink.com/content/fr11240311p1g4w5/?p=d84bccb00b0e4aa4bfb8e98a8546c8a6&pi=9)

Nancy Ockendon, Sarah E. Davis, Teresa Miyar and Mike Toms (2009). Urbanization and time of arrival of common birds at garden feeding stations. Bird Study (Published online-early)
web: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063650902937313


Anonymous Birdzilla said...

Over in europe they havea bird the WALL CREEPER

7:22 AM  

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