1 Jun 2024

Historic swarm of cicadas disrupting the peace, and food chain

From Saturday Morning, 10:45 am on 1 June 2024
Cicada Brood XIX

Cicada Brood XIX Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A phenomenon that hasn't occurred since 1803 is in full swing. Trillions of periodical cicadas are emerging in a rare double event. Brood XIX and XIII are either above ground, or emerging in 17 states, from Chicago through the Midwest.  It's the first time in 221 years that these two broods have come above ground in the same place at the same time.

Professor of biology at George Washington University, John Lill and his research team are in Chicago observing birds and other species feasting on a cicada banquet, which is changing their diet and causing much disruption to the food chain.

Also joining Susie for a look into the curious and wonderful world of cicadas, is Professor Martha Weiss, from the Department of Biology at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

John and Martha have written about this phenomenon and the result on a shift in avian foraging in Science.