According to recent studies, a quarter to half of all bird species is highly vulnerable to climate change. And the changes have a major impact on birds’ lives. The average atmospheric temperature of the Earth has risen considerably in recent years; it rose by 0.74 °C over the period 1906-2005. Birds and fish are starting to move northwards. Climate change may also affect the food birds eat. Recently the Atlantic mackerel came closer to the coasts of Iceland so there is a tough competition for the food. We are going to talk about the Puffin and the Arctic Tern.
Artic Tern is the bird that flies the longest way to lay his eggs. It comes all the way from the South Pole. Artic Terns make their nest in areas with tall grass near the sea. The hatchlings need many sand eels per day to thrive and grow. Artic Tern can only take one eel at a time and give his youngling so she needs to go many trips per day to achieve that. Especially if the birds have more than one youngling. In West Iceland over 90% of the Artic youngling die. Mother terns are very protective; if you go near their nests, the mom will come and peck you on the head.
The puffins go out to the sea in the winter but go up to a cliff when they start to lay their eggs. Puffins nest is a hole on a cliff by the sea where there is a lot of grass. The hole can be up to one meter deep in the ground. The younglings need sand eels to grow so the puffin mom goes to get them. In August the younglings are ready to leave their nest and go out to the sea, but many get disoriented because the lights from nearby settlements tempt them so they go the wrong way. This is why volunteering kids in the town help them to get to the sea by taking them and throwing them off the cliff.
Sand eels are the main food Puffins and Artic terns eat and there is not enough of them. Because the temperature is rising in the sea the sand eels are going northwards where the sea is colder. And the Mackerel is also eating them. So the puffin and the Artic Tern need to get something else to eat and that is not good.
Written by Ljósbrá and María