Warm February allows birds to breed earlier – Bavaria

The mild weather in February allows birds to sing and breed earlier. According to the nature conservation association LBV, the first migratory birds such as starlings have already returned to Bavaria. “Particularly long-lasting, strong deviations in temperature and precipitation, which have become increasingly common in recent years due to the climate crisis, can lead to animals becoming active earlier in the year and reproducing more quickly,” explained LBV expert Angelika Nelson on Thursday in Hilpoltstein.

According to the biologist, some birds seem to be able to adapt to the shortened winter. These could have an advantage because they could start breeding earlier and thus raise more offspring. Yellowhammers and white storks are already showing their first breeding behavior, said Nelson. Long-distance migrants – i.e. migratory birds that have winter quarters that are far away – are at a disadvantage. For example, the pied flycatcher is currently still in southern Africa. If he returns at the usual time, nesting holes could already be occupied by tits or nuthatches.

Climate change is disrupting the ecosystem, said Nelson. “It can happen that birds already have young but cannot yet find food for them because some insects are still in hibernation.” According to her, bats also often interrupt their hibernation when the temperature and humidity in their cave are no longer suitable. Developments in the coming years will show how such disruptions affect, said the expert.

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