2012-05-30. Where Have All the Hummingbirds Gone?

posted Jun 19, 2012, 10:06 AM by Lisa Ou   [ updated Jun 19, 2012, 10:07 AM ]
| by Cheryl Dybas, the National Science Foundation. An article relevant to GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 4. Excerpt: The [glacier] lily, a plant that grows best on subalpine slopes, is fast becoming a hothouse flower. In Earth's warming temperatures, its first blooms appear some 17 days earlier than they did in the 1970s, scientists David Inouye and Amy McKinney of the University of Maryland and colleagues have found. The problem, say the biologists, with the earlier timing of these first blooms is that the glacier lily is no longer synchronized with the arrival of broad-tailed hummingbirds, which depend on glacier lilies for nectar. By the time the hummingbirds fly in, many of the flowers have withered away, their nectar-laden blooms going with them…The biologists calculate that if current trends continue, in two decades the hummingbirds will miss the first flowers entirely…. Read more: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=124345&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click