Nature Blog Network Future Earth: Feasting Finches

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Feasting Finches

A diversity of finches, eh? Well, to such we owe our understanding of evolution (thank you Charles D.) but what can we opine from the increasing prevelance of finches in UK gardens? The annual survey by Britain's birders has shown a continual decline in overall bird numbers in 2008, but that several finches are staying on these islands longer, moving into gardens from wooded areas and becoming more numerous than some traditional residents. Winter numbers of finches are higher than any count in the last 5 years.

They are pretty, these finches and they rejoice in such delightful names as "siskin", "brambling" and "redpoll". But are they also harbingers of doom? Are they indicators of a changing climate unsettling natural balance? While welcoming those Norwegian siskins, are UK residents aware that the contents of their seed-feeders are supplanting a lack of natural seeds for the siskins back home? While we observe and adapt, we might ponder where we will fly to when our own food supply runs low. Perhaps we can feast on finches?

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