Birds Are Becoming Smaller Due To Climate Change

These days, the effects of climate change are felt everywhere, getting more and more realized as each day comes. For example, a recent survey of Americans revealed that a majority of them are now feeling the effects of global warming in their communities, whether it’s via extreme droughts, unusually hot temperatures, receding coastal lines, frequent storms or higher inches of rain.

And while us people definitely have it rough, our natural wildlife are even more affected, with some not being able to adapt to the rapid changes that climate change is giving. And now, a new study reveals that birds have started physically shrinking in size as a direct result of the climate crisis

Physical Effect On Birds

The study, published just this Wednesday in the journal Ecology Letters, found that 52 North American migratory bird species shrank consistently over a 38-year time period all while their wingspans grew in length. This suggests that due to climate change, the birds were forced to physically adapt in order to survive. The research was made by scientists from the University of Michigan, who examined around 70,000 bird specimens from all 52 species that were collected during the years 1978 up until 2016.

“Other studies have found a relationship between temperature and body size similar to what we found, but this is the most consistent result,” Benjamin Winger, the study senior author and an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said. “What we don’t know is the extent to which the shrinking bird is an adaptive response to climate change. Are they able to keep up with warming temperatures or are they lagging behind?”

And while there seem to be no sign of slowing down on the part of climate change, scientists are now starting to study and examine how this would affect animals in their natural habits, studying if the animals will be threatened or be able to sufficiently adapt.

While the study does suggest that birds shrank to adapt, it’s still unsure what type of implications these changes will cause for the birds.

house-sparrow-4449655_960_720 People are reportedly turning to a two-headed bird depicted in a Japanese journal in hopes of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)