A York University biology professor, for example, charts one songbird's migration to Brazil and back in one season, and explores how far a single bird travels while bringing its cheerful tune around the world. The Messenger looks beyond the birds and extends to a greater argument about climate change as the migration patterns of birds struggle to adapt to the fluctuating weather. Bird populations dwindle as birds arrive on their usual schedule to find unseasonably cool temperatures in which they freeze to death, or they come home at the usual time to find an early spring and depleted food supplies. The case study of the songbirds situates climate change within a complex and fragile ecosystem in which creatures great and small have both a role and a stake.
Rating: ★★★½ (out of ★★★★★)
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