Storks are no longer migratory birds, according to a new research conducted by the researchers at the University of East Anglia. Dr. Aldina Franco from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences and her research team observed the behavior of storks that are known to migrate from Europe to Africa. However, since the mid-1980s, an increasing number of these birds have stopped their migratory behavior. Instead, they have shifted to a resident nesting pattern and live in Spain and Portugal throughout the year. One of the main reasons behind this is the availability of junk food from landfills, which nullifies the need to migrate, particularly in the non-breeding seasons. The research team said, “We found that the continuous availability of junk food from landfill has influenced nest use, daily travel distances, and foraging ranges.” As a result, the population of storks has increased by ten times in the last two decades. Remarkably, a growing number of migratory birds have altered their behavior in a similar way, mainly due to the human influences and global environmental change. The research team wants to observe the behavior patterns in such birds to understand the effects of this behavior change on the species.
Read more in Science Daily.