Bird patterns shifting with climate: birder
New Brunswick's changing climate is causing the province's bird population to shift its patterns, according to an avid birdwatcher.
David Christie of the New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists has been poring over reports from the annual Christmas bird count.
More than 130 species and as many as 150,000 birds will be logged in this year's bird count, he said.
Christie said the latest count, which took place at 50 locations over a three-week period, shows evidence that New Brunswick's climate is getting warmer and that it is altering bird migration patterns.
"We're getting birds that are apt to stay further north and also pushing their range further northwards," Christie said.
He pointed to the turkey vulture, which usually migrates south in October or November .
"Some of them have been hanging back and staying further north than they normally would and so they've showed up in places like Saint John. And Hampton recorded their first ever turkey vultures on the Christmas bird count this winter.
But Christie said the possibility of birds staying in new places over the winter may mean trouble.
"Surviving through this December, being tough enough to do that, may not necessarily mean that you're going to be tough enough to survive the latter half of January and February," he said.
The Christmas bird count is part of a wider count sponsored by the Audubon Society throughout the Americas.