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More birds staying in Wisconsin during winter

If you think you're seeing more birds in Wisconsin this winter, you're right.

The National Audubon Society says 305 species of birds in North America are spending their winters further north than they did 40 years ago.

The purple finch has moved the farthest. Finches that used to spend their winters around Springfield, Mo., are now at about the latitude of Milwaukee and Madison.

There are several reasons, including deforestation, urban sprawl and supplemental diets from back-yard feeders.

But scientists say the biggest reason is - you guessed it - global warming.

The average January temperature in the U.S. climbed by 5 degrees during the 40 years of the bird study.

Lead scientist Greg Butcher says the behavior of dozens of species led the group to its conclusion. He says northern states have gotten the warmest over the study period.

And they're now seeing a wide variety of birds which used to spend their winters in the south, while the old northern species move up into Canada.

Wisconsin is seeing more eastern bluebirds, tundra swans, gadwalls, Carolina wrens and northern shovelers. And we're seeing fewer boreal chickadees.