As we gear up to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day this weekend, we are reminded of the important headway our ecologists are making in studying the impact of developments on intentionally important assemblages of overwintering birds.
During the winter months, migratory birds are increasingly reliant on foraging to maintain fat reserves and survive the winter. This can prove exceptionally difficult during a cold and wet winter, requiring more energy for them to stay warm. Because of this, disturbance to those feeding can seriously hurt their survival odds (Colwell 2010, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology 2005).
In response, our ecology team has been undertaking a three-year project to identify whether changes in crop rotations and habitat enhancement could be used to deter birds from areas where development may be taking place. We’re eager about seeing the potential benefits from this in reducing disturbance from future works, and consequently, the impact to overwintering migratory birds.