In the January issue of British Birds:
Climate change: a Swallow’s-eye view
Climate change is affecting birds in a number of ways, including their breeding biology, summer and winter distributions and population sizes. In this paper, Angela Turner concentrates on the effects on Swallows, which appear to be mixed: survival has decreased because of poor environmental conditions in North Africa (through which they migrate) while hotter, drier summers may increase chick mortality; yet warm springs have extended the breeding season.
The Cape Verde Warbler: distribution, density, habitat, and breeding biology on the island of Fogo
Jens Hering and Elmar Fuchs describe how an expedition to the newly discovered breeding grounds of the Cape Verde Warbler Acrocephalus brevipennis, on the island of Fogo, Cape Verde, in October 2006, established that the species is widespread in the northern part of the island. Some 129 territories were mapped and a total island population of at least 500 breeding pairs is estimated. Nine nests were found and described, and breeding behaviour at the nest studied. The species probably bred on Fogo prior to human settlement and has subsequently adapted to coffee plantations. If coffee-crop management remains unchanged, the long-term survival of the Cape Verde Warbler on Fogo appears not to be under threat.
A bumper crop of letters and notes are typically varied, and include the following subject material:
· Pronunciation of scientific names
· Madeiran Storm-petrels in the Bay of Biscay
· European Rollers in France
· Blyth’s Reed Warblers in Estonia
· A hybrid Aythya showing features of Redhead
· Difference in shape of bill-base feathering between Common and Black Scoters in non-adult male plumage
· Identification of Citrine and Yellow Wagtails
Book reviews, news & comment, announcements and recent reports complete the issue.
See the British Birds website at http://www.britishbirds.co.uk for full details of current and back issues, and to download a sample copy of BB.