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As birds breed earlier, nests end up in the path of farm equipment

Cara J

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Birds that nest in farmers’ fields may find themselves increasingly in the path of farming equipment as climate change prompts the birds to breed before planting season begins. Looking at farms in Finland, researchers found earlier springs have led farmers to move up their planting time, but birds are responding even faster, breeding before the fields have been sown. When birds lay eggs on fields that haven’t been sown yet, researchers found, farming activity can be fatal to their nests. “It’s not very well known how humans are responding to climate change,” said Aleksi Lehikoinen, an academic research fellow at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and the University of Helsinki and coauthor of the study. “Species are doing it in various ways through phenological changes.” The research can be applied globally, he said, and all farmers can consider making changes to benefit bird species that may use their land as habitat. In the study published in Biological Conservation, the researchers studied the nesting time of lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) and curlews (Numenius arquata). They found the locations of newly hatched lapwing and curlew chicks, and based on known incubation period of the two species, were able to determine the average [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/as-birds-breed-earlier-nests-end-up-in-the-path-of-farm-equipment/

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