Aug 3, 2009
Cold Winter is For the Birds ecology” />
A mass arrival of finches in the UK could mean the coming winter will be particularly harsh.
Siskins, the smallest member of the finch family tree, have been arriving in droves from Eastern Europe. According to ornithologists, the last time this occurred was 1993.
The winter of 1993 was particularly bad, and was characterized by excessively cold temperatures and heavy snowfall. The snowfalls preceded heavy floods.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ornithologist Davey Fitch said: “Their arrival may be a signal of a lack of food in Eastern Europe and also of a cold winter.”
Believe it or not, finches are actually the second usual indicator of a cold winter by birds. The first is the early arrival of pink-footed geese, who flee unusually cold conditions in their summer feeding areas in Greenland.
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