A wing and a prayer: how birds are coping with the climate crisis

Some of our best-loved species are changing their breeding cycles and heading north in their fight for survival in a warmer world

Lockdown has sparked a renewed interest in our garden birds, with millions of us enjoying watching them from our windows. But could some species – including the common and familiar great tit – vanish from Britain’s gardens by the end of the century?

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, working with the University of Oxford, have modelled how great tits are reacting to the climate crisis. Specifically, are the birds able to respond to the earlier emergence of the caterpillars on which they feed their chicks?

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