Birds & Climate Change

Birds & Climate Change Map
The Associated Press
As the temperature across the U.S.has gotten warmer from 1966 to 2005, many bird species are spending their winters farther north.

Birds & Climate Change

Nearly 60% of the 305 relatively widely distributed bird species found in North America in winter are on the move, shifting their ranges northward by an average of 35 miles. Audubon scientists analyzed 40 years of citizen-science Christmas Bird Count data -- and their findings provide new and powerful evidence that global warming is having a serious impact on natural systems.

Northward movement was detected among species of every type, including more than 70 percent of highly adaptable forest and feeder birds.

Only grassland species were an exception - with only 38 percent mirroring the northward trend. But far from being good news for species like Eastern Meadowlark and Henslow's Sparrow, this reflects the grim reality of severely-depleted grassland habitat and suggests that these species now face a double threat from the combined stresses of habitat loss and climate adaptation.