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A Baltimore Without Orioles?; Study Says Global Warming May Rob Md., Other States of Their Official Birds
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Bird migration; Habitats; Birds; Global warming
Author: Pianin, Eric
Date: Mar 4, 2002
Start Page: A.03
Section: A SECTION

The ranges of some state birds could shrink or shift entirely outside the states they represent. That could mean Iowa and Washington state would eventually lose the American goldfinch, New Hampshire would say goodbye to the purple finch, California would lose the California quails, Massachusetts' black-capped chickadee would vanish, Georgia would lose the brown thrasher and Maryland would lose its beloved Baltimore oriole, according to the study, which was provided to The Washington Post.

"Imagine Baltimore without the Baltimore oriole," said Mark Van Putten, president of the National Wildlife Federation. "Left unchecked, global warming could cause the birds we love to watch and even celebrate on state emblems to disappear from places they've lived for eons."

Like those of many plants and animals, birds' life cycles and behavior are closely linked to the changing seasons. For Neotropical migrant species such as the Baltimore oriole, warblers and other songbirds, changes in the weather help signal when they should begin their long flights southward in the fall and back again in the spring. Variables such as temperature and precipitation also affect the timing and availability of flowers, seeds and other food sources for the birds when they reach their destination.

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