Migratory birds bear brunt of intense, climate-fueled storms

As global climate change fuels more frequent and intense hurricanes and droughts, migratory birds, especially those whose populations are already in decline, will bear the brunt of such climate-fueled weather, suggest a pair of new studies.

CALS wildlife ecologist Anna Pidgeon is the senior author of the studies, which are published in the December online issue of the journal Global Change Biology. The articles describe the effects of intense, climate-charged weather on North America’s birds. The work is described in this story by UW Communications writer Terry Devitt.

The studies, which focused on the influence of drought and forest-leveling hurricanes, show that neotropical migrants — birds that spend the winter in tropical or subtropical regions of North, Central and South America and breed in temperate North America — are most vulnerable to the growing risk of severe weather.

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