Year 4, Month 5, Day 8: The Song Is You

The Deccan Chronicle (India) notices climatogenic changes in bird migration patterns:

Kochi: It was a tradition in Kerala to wait for the vitthum kaikottum (seed and spade) call of the Indian cuckoo, which was the indication for farmers to begin sowing operations as the rains would not be long in coming. But that was then. Today, new species of birds have descended on the state, some never sighted here before. And climate change is said to be the reason. β€œThe Aquila type of eagle, not historically reported in Kerala, is now commonly found.

These are commonly found in the very dry areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab and have migrated to Kerala. The sparrow type wheatear or buntings noticed in the dry areas of central and north-western parts of the country have also been spotted across Kerala in the last few years,” says professor at the College of Forestry of Kerala Agriculture University, P.O. Nameer.

This is a new phenomenon and the presence of these birds is an indication that they are equally comfortable in the southern tip of the country as in northern parts which were their original homeland.

Ornithologist R. Sugathan says these are indications of global warming. “Birds do not migrate or come for fun. When a moist deciduous forest changes into deciduous, shedding its moist tag, a new set of birds and animals takes the place of the old. This is obvious in the changing pattern of migration of birds to Kerala. Some of them are now found going to places in neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in search of food and breeding grounds.”

Anthropocentric thinking takes a hit. Sent April 26:

News coverage understandably tends to focus on the human face of climate change. Whether it’s an island nation anticipating its own disappearance beneath rising sea levels, or a farming culture grappling with increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather, there is no shortage of people confronting the grim realities of global warming.

But our own species isn’t the only one affected. At all levels of scale, from microscopic plankton to giant sequoias, the great web of Earthly life is being torn and disrupted by the consequences of industrial civilization’s two-century carbon binge. When hitherto unfamiliar bird species come visiting, it’s as much an indicator of climate change as melting glaciers or drought-cracked farmlands. While the arrival of the Aquila eagle or the Stonechat may be a brief boon for birdwatchers, it is an ominous sign of things to come. It’s not only humans who’re becoming climate refugees as the greenhouse effect intensifies.

Warren Senders

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