Sunday, December 1, 2019

Climate change?

Yellow-browed Warbler
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

Warming temperatures are causing the habitats of some species of plants and animals to shift to higher latitudes and altitudes.  In Canada we are seeing insect and bird species, until a few years ago only found in the United States, moving further and further north.

The recent and very rare sighting on Vancouver Island of a Yellow-browed Warbler was not one of those however.  Exciting as it was – birders came from mainland British Columbia and Washington state –this was simply an example of an Asian resident blown off course.

This warbler – there was just the one, not the family group in the painting – is referred to as a ‘vagrant’ and, considering how far he is from his normal migration route between Russia and South-east Asia, likely a ‘hitchhiker’ as well, for at least part of the distance.