Spring is arriving earlier each year and it is turning the tight relationships between birds, trees and insects on their head.
The amount of change is significant, said Dr Alison Donnelly of Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for the Environment. Beech trees growing on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, now begin breaking leaf a full month earlier than they did 40 years ago, she said.
Birds that migrate from the sub-Sahara now tend to arrive about seven days earlier than in the past, including the common cuckoo, bard swallow and sand martin. But this is late compared to their main food source, the insects, whose numbers rocket weeks earlier as they feed on sap delivered by the opening leaves.
Have you spotted any anomalous bird, insect or tree behaviour?
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