City birds sleep late
City birds can afford to sleep in their nests a little longer than their country cousins according to a new report from the British Trust for Ornithology.
The micro-climate created by urban human activity sees the cities being several degrees warmer than the countryside and so the city robins, blackbirds and other species common in city habitats don't need to eat quite as much and can laze around a little.
he blames his office nap
on the dawn chorus
A study by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) found birds such as robins and blackbirds in urban areas started visiting bird feeders later than their rural counterparts in winter.
Experts at the BTO believe the difference in feeding habits is due to the "urban heat island effect" which makes cities several degrees warmer than surrounding countryside as a result of heat escaping from buildings.
Mike Toms, head of garden ecology at the BTO, said the extra warmth in urban areas - up to 8C in some places - helped small birds get through the winter months more easily than those in the country.
They did not need to start feeding as early in the morning to replace energy lost overnight keeping warm, he suggested.