Climate change and bird migration in Spain

April 3rd, 2007 | by nick |

SEO/Birdlife has launched a new webpage ( on the phenology of birds in Spain. People are invited to register and send in their data on bird sightings this year and records from previous years. The basis of the site are the 44,000 records taken since 1944 of 87 key species. This will allow migratory maps to be produced for each species and show changes due to climate change. Phenological reacords on some fruit trees (eg almond blossom) and insects are also included. Early conclusions includeÂ

  • Less and less cranes arrive every yearÂ
  • Storks are leaving later or staying all year round. 20 years not a single stork wintered in Spain. Now an estimated 30,000 winter here.Â
  • An increase in migration of Sub-Saharan birdsÂ
  • The increase in tempeartures in Spain of one and a half degrees since the early 1960s has pushed forward the arrival of at least cuckoos, storks, swifts. nightingales and swallows. However, a word of caution. With the notable exception of the storks, these early arrivals are with respect to the “unusually late”1960s”. Arrival times are now it seems the same as the 1940s. We shall see

And here’s a map the arrival of swallows



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