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Phenology and the changing pattern of bird migration in Britain

TitlePhenology and the changing pattern of bird migration in Britain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsSparks, TH
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Page range134-138

Britain has a huge mass of data on the timing of bird migration, although much of this remains in a form that is inaccessible for immediate scientific study. In this paper, I undertake a preliminary examination of data from a number of historical and current sources. Among these are the Marsham family records from Norfolk, dating back to 1736, and post-World War II records from coastal bird observatories. The majority of the examined time series displayed a negative relationship to temperature indicating a tendency for the earlier arrival of the studied birds in warmer springs. In addition to temperature effects, trends through time and some sampling effects (through population size) have become apparent. Identification and curation of data sources and further analysis is still required to produce a clearer picture of climate effects on bird migration timing and on subsequent bird population dynamics.

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