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Climate Patterns Thousands of Miles Away Affect US Bird Migration

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More than 350 species of birds are counted on the Pacific Flyway every year. Credit: Davis Ranches/John Brennan Every spring, migratory birds arrive in the continental United States from south and central America to breed. But precisely when they arrive each spring varies from year to year. In a NASA-led study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society , scientists have linked this variability to large-scale climate patterns originating thousands of miles away.

Migratory birds benefit ecosystems by helping to control pests, pollinating plants and serving as food for other wildlife. The more land managers know about the current migration patterns of these birds – and the migration patterns that are likely to develop in the future due to climate change – the better they can direct their efforts to protect the birds and to restore and conserve their habitats. This study brings them one step closer to that goal. Every spring, migratory birds arrive in the continental United States from south and central America to breed. But precisely when they arrive each spring varies from year to year. To better understand what is driving variability, scientists decided to turn to climate models, radar stations and a little […]

Click here to view original web page at climate.nasa.gov

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