31 May '17, 3pm

Citizen scientists reporting from their birdfeeders track expansion of an adorable opportunist

Citizen scientists reporting from their birdfeeders track expansion of an adorable opportunist

A recent study suggests hummingbird feeders in city parks and backyards are dramatically shifting the winter range of Anna’s hummingbirds to as far north as Alaska. From 1997 to 2013, the hummers’ winter range moved 435 miles north, according to data gathered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch , a citizen science project where volunteers report which bird species are showing up at their bird feeders. Emma Greig, manager of Project FeederWatch, says that the impetus for the study came from decades of reports hinting that the birds were expanding north. Those reports dovetailed with accounts from homeowners who maintained heated birdfeeders, who were reporting the presence of Anna’s hummingbirds even in the winter months. Hummingbirds need to gorge on sugary nectar every day to fuel their ultra-fast metabolism and typically follow the path of blooming, n...

Full article: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/hummingbirds-march-north...

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