Friday, August 23, 2013

Help for Hummingbirds

Migratory creatures seem to be feeling the effects of climate change. Polar bears don’t have as much sea ice as they used to and if temperatures continue to change as they have been monarch butterflies may not receive the temperature signals needed to start them on their way back north. Another migratory species that may need to adapt quickly due to climate change so as not to diminish is the hummingbird. Climate change effects the bloom time of its nectar sources which provide energy for its annual migrations. However, there may be ways you can help hummingbirds as changes happen to their environment.

The Audubon Society has a new citizen scientist project designed to bolster current research by documenting the feeding patterns of hummingbirds. You can find out much more information about why researchers are concerned about hummingbirds and about Audubon’s new Hummingbirds at Home Program at this link. That page also has links to find out about two other Audubon citizen scientist programs, the Christmas Bird Count and the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Many research projects require simply too much data to be collected for an accurate study for one scientist or even group of scientists to collect. Often this data is something that the public is very capable of providing to the researchers for analysis. If you have some time to contribute, please consider joining other citizen scientists as they gather data for researchers to understand what types of changes are currently affecting the world we and creatures such as hummingbirds live in.

(I took the first photo in my backyard and the other at a park in San Angelo.)

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