"Weather Whiplash: How Climate Change Killed Thousands of Migratory Birds"

"Can we help species adapt to the evolving threat of compound climate extremes?"

"When dead birds fall from the sky, you know something is wrong. But finding out exactly what killed them isn’t as easy.

Scientists had plenty of theories when migratory sparrows, flycatchers, blackbirds, swallows, warblers and other birds in the southwestern United States turned up dead or dying in August and September of 2020. Some suggested it could have been smoke from wildfires. Others said it could have been a cold snap. Some experts thought it was lack of food, as evidenced by the birds’ emaciated, dehydrated bodies.

No matter what the cause, the effect was devastating on the people who found the bodies. “I collected over a dozen in just a two-mile stretch in front of my house,” biologist Martha Desmond told The Guardian that September. “To see this many individuals and species dying is a national tragedy.”"

John R. Platt reports for The Revelator February 8, 2023.

Source: The Revelator, 02/21/2023