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bird migration

City’s bright lights attract migrant birds

Redwing, Liz Cutting

Results from a new study reveal that artificial light sources associated with urban areas can disrupt the natural movement patterns of birds migrating at night across the UK. Using a combination of passive acoustic monitoring devices and the latest computing approaches, researchers Simon Gillings and Chris Scott were able to determine that calling rates of migrating Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Redwings were significantly higher over brightly lit urban areas, most likely a consequence of the birds being attracted by the artificial lighting.

British and Irish gardens fuel a novel reverse migration for Blackcaps in winter

 Blackcap by Benjamin Van Doren

The allure of garden feeders has transformed the biology of a bird that visits Britain and Ireland for the winter. New research involving the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Oxford University and the Max Planck Institute, and just published in the journal Global Change Biology, provides further evidence of how humans are shaping the natural world through simple changes in our own back gardens. Increasingly mild winters and abundant garden bird food has led Blackcaps to establish new migratory routes, lead more sedentary winter lives, and perhaps even modify their anatomy.

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