Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, August 17, 2012

Migratory birds facing drought, fires, and food shortage

With summer winding down, millions of migratory birds are on the move. But his year, things are a bit different, especially for tiny hummingbirds. Drought and climate change have shifted the landscape dramatically.

Some hummingbird species fly 2,000 miles during migration. And with a heart rate of up to 1,200 beats per minutes, they often need to eat five times their body weight, every day.

This year's migration is complicated by the lack of natural wildflowers, which have been hit hard by drought and forest fires.

So birds that are looking about for their usual food sources are heading elsewhere. Large numbers of birds are swarming feeding stations set up in gardens and backyards in drought areas out West.

It is standing room only at many feeders -- and that has hummingbird fans buzzing.

"I'm speechless, really," said one woman who has set up feeders for the hummingbirds, "to just sit here and be so close that I can see them." more