New papers from the Hot Birds Project team

3 Aug 2020 - 09:45
Photo credit: Nick Pattinson


Using a 15- year dataset we found exposure to high temperatures during early development led to reduced survival probabilities in pied babbler young, and above a critical temperature of 38 C (a temperature not unusual at our study site) NO YOUNG SURVIVED. This finding has broad implications for population persistence in avian communities in the face of climate change. Group size did not moderate this temperature-related effect, suggesting that the availability of helpers will not buffer offspring from compromised survival at higher temperatures in cooperatively breeding birds like Southern Pied babblers. This paper is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and an article on the paper is online at 

The second article is part of special issue on Birds and Weather at Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.  We investigated the impact of drought on breeding behaviour in subsequent years in Southern Pied babblers. Drought significantly reduced reproductive success and we suggest that compensatory behaviour may be an important part of post-drought population recovery.