Survival by Degrees: 389 Species on the Brink

Two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction from global temperature rise and what you can do to help.

Brown-headed Nuthatch Photo: Matt Tillet/Flickr CC by 2.0

As the climate changes, so will the places birds need.

Audubon scientists took advantage of 140 million observations, recorded by birders and scientists, to describe where 604 North American bird species live today—an area known as their “range.” They then used the latest climate models to project how each species’s range will shift as climate change and other human impacts advance across the continent. See how climate change will impact North Carolina's birds. And check out this fact sheet for a summary of the report's findings for North Carolina. The results are clear: Birds will be forced to relocate to find favorable homes. And they may not survive. 

Climate change is a serious threat to North Carolina birds. Highly and moderately vulnerable birds may lose more than half of their current range—the geographic area where they live—as they are forced to search for suitable habitat and climate conditions elsewhere. The birds that nest or spend the winter in your area are most vulnerable across their entire range. Some birds may lose range outside of your state, making the protection of their current habitat in your area even more important. 

Highly vulnerable birds include iconic North Carolina birds such as the Wood Thrush, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Golden-winged Warbler, and many others. These are birds that all of us know well from our backyards and from our own experiences in North Carolina's beautiful outdoors. 

Audubon North Carolina is addressing this challenge by protecting the habitats that we know birds will need now and into the future, and doing what we can to lessen the severity of global warming. We’ll do this work with a variety of partners on the ground and in the halls of the General Assembly and Washington, D.C. But we won’t be able to rise to this challenge without the involvement of North Carolina residents who care about birds. We need people not only to join us in this important work, but to also raise their voices to call for meaningful policy and legislative action on climate. TAKE ACTION>>

Birds Affected by Climate Change

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Latin:  Sitta pusilla

Illustration for Brown-headed Nuthatch

American Oystercatcher

Latin:  Haematopus palliatus

Illustration for American Oystercatcher

Piping Plover

Latin:  Charadrius melodus

Illustration for Piping Plover

Golden-winged Warbler

Latin:  Vermivora chrysoptera

Illustration for Golden-winged Warbler

Ovenbird

Latin:  Seiurus aurocapilla

Illustration for Ovenbird

Barn Owl

Latin:  Tyto alba

Illustration for Barn Owl

American Black Duck

Latin:  Anas rubripes

Illustration for American Black Duck

Baltimore Oriole

Latin:  Icterus galbula

Illustration for Baltimore Oriole

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga caerulescens

Illustration for Black-throated Blue Warbler

Brown Pelican

Latin:  Pelecanus occidentalis

Illustration for Brown Pelican

Cerulean Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga cerulea

Illustration for Cerulean Warbler

Osprey

Latin:  Pandion haliaetus

Illustration for Osprey

Tundra Swan

Latin:  Cygnus columbianus

Illustration for Tundra Swan

Wild Turkey

Latin:  Meleagris gallopavo

Illustration for Wild Turkey

Wood Thrush

Latin:  Hylocichla mustelina

Illustration for Wood Thrush

Wood Duck

Latin:  Aix sponsa

Illustration for Wood Duck

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How you can help, right now