UMD researchers find negative effect of climate change on hummingbirds

According to a National Science Foundation release, new research by David Inouye and Amy McKinney of the University of Maryland and others presents an incidence of climate change that can adervsely affect wildlife.

The study shows that the annual cycles of broad-tailed hummingbirds and the glacier lilies that produce nectar that the hummingbirds consume are growing further apart.

Inouye and McKinney found that the lilies are blooming about 17 days earlier than they did 40 years ago, and that the first hummingbirds to migrate to the Rocky Mountains, where they breed and rely on the flowers’ nectar, are finding decayed flowers.

“In some years, the lilies have already bloomed by the time the first hummingbird lands,” McKinney, who predicts that the hummingbirds will miss the first flowers entirely 20 years from now, said in the release.

The results of the study were published in the journal Ecology. For more details, read the full release here.