Bird Populations Respond to Climate Change, Land Use and Winter Feeding

July 1, 2007
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Rosemary Balfour completed her Masters of Liberal Arts degree at Harvard in June working with thesis advisors David Foster and Wayne Petersen of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Rosemary's study utilized Christmas Bird Count data to examine the long-term trends in the abundance and composition of the bird populations that overwinter across the inland regions of Massachusetts. Her research concluded that there were major increases in the ratio of southern to northern ranging bird species and that these could be tied to a number of factors including: warming temperatures, changes in land use, and the greatly increased use of bird feeders. In her work Rosemary received considerable assistance from Harvard Forest scientists: Aaron Ellison, Glenn Motzkin and Brian Hall.

Balfour, R. P. 2007. The Impact of Changes in Average Winter Temperatures and Habitat Modification on Populations of Terrestrial Birds Over-wintering in Inland Areas of Massachusetts. Master's Thesis. Harvard University. 

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