Article: The Effects of Climate Change on Nesting Shorebirds in the U.S.

An article titled The Effects of Climate Change on the Nesting Phenology of Three Shorebird Species in the United States includes contributions by Abby Good, Environmental professional for SPC, a subsidiary of GAI.

Published recently in Animals an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal devoted entirely to animals, zoology, and veterinary sciences, this article discusses how recent changes in weather patterns are affecting the breeding timing and habits of certain shorebirds.


Previous studies have shown how climate change can lead some bird species to alter the timing of their breeding and migration. To understand this better in shorebirds, we investigated if the nesting times of three shorebird species in the United States have fluctuated due to increases in temperature and precipitation at their breeding sites. We found that the laying dates of our species have become earlier and temperatures at our nest sites have significantly increased over time. Precipitation did not show a clear trend over time in our study, though previous studies indicate precipitation has been increasing in the U.S. While we were unable to find evidence that precipitation affects when our species begin laying eggs, one species, the Willet, had significantly earlier laying dates as temperatures during the breeding months increased. While another species showed this same trend, it was not significant, and the third species showed later laying dates as temperatures increased. Our results demonstrate that changes in climate affect species differently, warranting further study in this field.

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