Seeing How Bird Species Have Changed Over a Century
In 1910, a survey on the birds of Lincoln Park was published. The authors took note of the different species residing in the park, their relative abundance and the dates of their arrival during the spring migration.
Although Lincoln Park has changed little since that time, Chicago and the surrounding area have been transformed by development. Now, a century later, researchers at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute are taking the unique opportunity to measure how 100 years of urbanization has impacted migratory and local bird populations.
By recreating bird surveys conducted a century ago, scientists can measure how bird diversity has changed and spot differences in migration patterns. Furthermore, this study will shed light on exactly how invasive species, such as the European starling, have impacted bird communities.
During the 2012 survey, researchers observed almost 100 different bird species during peak spring migration.