While alteration of the migratory habits of birds is widely regarded as one of the most evident ecological effects of climate change, studies reporting shifts in migration phenology for long-lived, long-distance migrants have been few. Using time series of count data collected in southern Spain during autumn migration, we examined the magnitude and direction of phenological shifts for six common species of soaring birds. Many current methods for investigating phenological change rely on continuous data sets; however, these data may be unavailable for a variety of reasons. We used a cross-correlation analysis, which allowed us to compare recent data on the timing of migration from 1999–2011 to a historic data set collected during 1976–1977. The direction of phenological shifts for autumn migration was species-specific. White Storks Ciconia ciconia and Black Kites Milvus migrans appeared to have delayed passage, Black Storks Ciconia nigra and European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus have advanced their migratory timing, and we found no clear phenological change for Short-toed Eagles Circaetus gallicus or Booted Eagles Hieraaetus pennatus.
This document was originally published in Ardea by the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.5253/arde.v104i1.a7
Scholer, Micah N.; Martín, Beatriz; Ferrer, Miguel; Onrubia, Alejandro; Bechard, Marc J.; Kaltenecker, Greg S.; and Carlisle, Jay D.. (2016). "Variable Shifts in the Autumn Migration Phenology of Soaring Birds in Southern Spain". Ardea, 104(1), 83-93.