Among the top Google News search results today under “climate change, the UK Guardian and other media outlets are claiming a new atlas of bird habitats shows global warming is “pushing” birds further north. The atlas itself, however, tells a completely different story. Rather than “pushing” birds out of their normal ranges and forcing them north, birds are benefiting from a warming climate by expanding their overall ranges, thriving in new, northern regions while still thriving in southern regions as well. The result of climate change is not a negative “pushing” of birds out of their habitat, but rather birds enjoying larger habitat ranges, while adding to biological diversity in their new ranges.
The Guardian story is titled, “Atlas reveals birds pushed further north amid climate crisis.” The title leads casual readers to belief birds are being stressed by climate change, consistent with the notion of a climate crisis. If you dig deeper into the story, however, the Guardian admits, “Overall, 35% of birds increased their breeding range, 25% contracted their breeding range and the rest did not show any change, or the trend is unknown.” That is, of course, a positive development. Indeed, even the Guardian admits, “Generally, if a species is present in more areas it is less likely to go extinct….”
So, if you come across one of the “news” articles claiming the climate crisis is forcing birds to flee north, remember the facts – birds are taking advantage of a warmer climate by adding to their overall habitat ranges.