Spring Alive earlier in 2007
The Spring migration of four bird indicator species across Europe took place earlier this year than the previous year, according to BirdLife’s Spring Alive project, an online resource involving children, teachers and birdwatchers from across the continent.
Throughout last Spring, participants across Europe watched out for and recorded the arrival of four migratory birds: White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, Common Swift Apus apus and the Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. Results showed that all four species were spotted earlier this year on average, compared to the Spring Alive 2006 results.
Over 16,000 records were added to the Spring Alive website this year (www.springalive.net) and the project involved a large number of European BirdLife Partners. Website visitors were able to watch the progress of Spring across Europe, as birds were spotted further and further northwards.
"...the project was great fun for all those involved" —Joanna Kalinowska, European Spring Alive project coordinator
This year’s arrivals were found to be slightly earlier than the European phenological norm (White Stork in early April; Barn Swallow, mid-April; Common Cuckoo, early May; Common Swift, mid-May), a reflection of the relatively mild Spring -much warmer and longer than 2006- in comparison with previous years.
“Throughout Spring, the project was great fun for all those involved, helping people learn about birds, migration pressures and the environment, yet the results also have value: adding to scientists’ knowledge of changes occurring in the global environment, many of which relate to climate change,” said Joanna Kalinowska, European Spring Alive project coordinator.
“Such early sightings of migratory birds might not have been possible twenty years ago,” she finished.
Find out more: www.springalive.net