Report

Rapid Advance of Spring Arrival Dates in Long-Distance Migratory Birds

Science  30 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5782, pp. 1959-1961
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126119

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Abstract

Several bird species have advanced the timing of their spring migration in response to recent climate change. European short-distance migrants, wintering in temperate areas, have been assumed to be more affected by change in the European climate than long-distance migrants wintering in the tropics. However, we show that long-distance migrants have advanced their spring arrival in Scandinavia more than short-distance migrants. By analyzing a long-term data set from southern Italy, we show that long-distance migrants also pass through the Mediterranean region earlier. We argue that this may reflect a climate-driven evolutionary change in the timing of spring migration.

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