Climate change may be to blame for puzzling New Mexico bird deaths


Scientists in New Mexico have been investigating the mysterious deaths of thousands of migrating birds in the state 2020 in an effort to explain the unsettling event.

It is thought that three different extreme weather events, likely driven by climate change, could have pushed the resilience of the birds too far.

Jeanne Fair, one of the researchers studying the mass-death event, said: "We had had some extreme high temperatures in Colorado and New Mexico, and then we had a cold front come in that was sort of extreme cold event. At the same time, we had large catastrophic forest fires in the region, and so it was very, very smoky as well."

Wilson's Warbler was one of the species affected by the mass die-off event in New Mexico (Paul Cools).

Tim Wright, professor at New Mexico State University, said: "Something new is happening. Climate change is increasing the frequency and the severity of these weather-related events."

Professor Wright and his students of disaster ecology are revisiting the die-off event in the hope of gaining an understanding of the potential effects of climage change and extreme weather events on migratory bird species. This may help to predict similar disasters in the future.

He added: That's why migratory birds are particularly important. They're a great indicator of stresses from whether where they've been to where they’re going, and so they're the ones that are connecting us globally."

Recent studies by NASA and other bodies have agreed that climate change might be causing large-scale disruption to bird migration.