Earlier spring snowmelt could lead to ‘trophic

mismatches’ by altering the timing and abundance of

food resource availability for migratory songbirds

during their short breeding season...

If snow melts out earlier, the timing of plant and arthropod based food availability and abundance will likely shift earlier as well.  We are exploring the stress hormone response and the impact on reproductive success of migratory songbirds to these shifts in the timing of snowmelt and food availability.

Migratory songbirds arrive on the N. Slope Alaska between May 17 and 30 every year.  As the snow melts, arthropods, and over-wintered berries and seeds become available for them to eat.  As the tundra greens up, an abundance of high quality food resources become available to both adult birds and their young.