Climate Change Causing a “Bird Emergency” According to National Audubon Society

New Hampshire’s Purple Finch Photo: AllAboutBirds.org

The National Audubon Society issued an alarming entitled, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink with the group’s CEO and President, David Yarnold, saying, “[t]wo-thirds of America’s birds are threatened with extinction from climate change, but keeping global temperatures down will help up to 76 percent of themThe New York Times reported yesterday, based on the Audubon study, that as a result of warming at least eight states could see their state birds largely or entirely disappear from within their borders during the summer months.

Why This Matters:  The notion of states “losing” their state birds —  one of their most visible state symbols —  to climate change should ring some alarm bells — especially among climate deniers.  But it goes way beyond just these well-known birds — many others are also at risk of moving away from their previous habitat. You can see what birds in your neighborhood are threatened by using this zip-code based tool (click and scroll down) that Audubon developed.  This type of information should help people to see the importance of changing our current trajectory of climate change.

State Birds That Are Impacted

Audubon scientists studied 604 North American bird species using 140 million bird records, including observational data from bird lovers and field biologists across the country.

  • Assuming 3 degrees Fahrenheit or more of warming, the Common Loon of Minnesota, the California Quail, the Brown Thrasher in Georgia, the Purple Finch in New Hampshire, the Ruffled Grouse in Pennsylvania, the Hermit Thrush in Vermont, and the Goldfinch in Iowa and New Jersey all stand to lose most to all of their summer habitat.

Other Climate Impacts

Besides summer warming impacting their range, some bird species are likely to face additional dangers from climate change, such as increased springtime heat, fiercer wildfires or rising ocean levels, according to the Times.  Species such as the piping plover, which builds its nests in sandy areas along the Atlantic coast, is expected to see its habitat encroached by the rising seas, according to the Report.

“We already know what we need to do to reduce global warming, and we already have a lot of the tools we need to take those steps. Now, what we need are more people committed to making sure those solutions are put into practice,” said Renee Stone, vice president of climate for the National Audubon Society. “Our elected officials at every level of government must hear from their constituents that this is a priority. Audubon is committed to protecting the places birds need now and in the future and taking action to address the root causes of climate change.”

What You Can Do:  Click here for Audubon’s suggested actions everyone can take to help fight this bird emergency.

Georgia’s Brown Thrasher Photo: AllAboutBirds.org

Up Next

Experts Believe Spike in Shark Attack Deaths May be Caused by Climate Change

Experts Believe Spike in Shark Attack Deaths May be Caused by Climate Change

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer  Sharks have killed seven people in Australia in 2020, the most since 1934, and scientists believe climate change might be responsible. According to the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, for the past 50 years, the average number of yearly shark attack fatalities was one. Despite the total number of shark […]

Continue Reading 610 words
Citizen Scientists Pitch In On Research For Bird Die-Off In the Southwest

Citizen Scientists Pitch In On Research For Bird Die-Off In the Southwest

Over the last few months, thousands of migratory birds have dropped dead, inexplicably falling out of the sky across the southern United States. Scientists speculate that smoke from wildfires has poisoned birds and forced them to migrate through new territory with fewer food sources.

Why this Matters:  It’s difficult for scientists to research long-term data trends since they often work in small teams, in small geographic areas.

Continue Reading 492 words
Animals Need a Plan for Natural Disasters Too

Animals Need a Plan for Natural Disasters Too

Human activity has nearly doubled the rate of natural disasters in the last quarter-century. And as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) explained in a new report out this week: While many natural disasters cause great financial hardship and can tragically result in loss of human life, animals are often overlooked in the chaos. […]

Continue Reading 1000 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.