News Round-Up

Shifts seen in breeding times and duration for 73 boreal bird species over 40 years


In a new study out this week, a team including forest ecologist Malcolm Itter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports finding “clear evidence of a contraction of the breeding period” among boreal birds in Finland over a 43-year span for which good quality data were available.

The study was run by researchers within the Research Centre for Ecological Change (RCEC) at the University of Helsinki, led by Maria Hällfors with Itter and Laura Antão, all postdoctoral researchers at the time. They were joined by additional researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Details appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Itter says that for most of the 73 species studied, “we saw an advance in the beginning of the breeding period,” an average 4.6 days, and the breeding period ending earlier, an average of 6.3 days. The average breeding period contracted by 1.7 days over the period with a breeding period contraction in roughly 31 percent of all species. MORE

Header image: Finnish Museum of Natural History/Aleksi Lehikoinen.