Audubon's Climate Watch Program

Audubon’s 2019 “Survival by Degrees” report documented the alarming conclusion of many years of ornithological and climate research: fully two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction due to climate change. Many species will see their ranges shift as the climate warms and human development reduces suitable breeding habitat. Soon, some species may have nowhere left to go.

As a result of the report, Audubon initiated several new programs and website features, including their Birds and Climate Visualizer page, which allows you to type in your zip code and see how climate change is predicted to affect the birds that live in your local community.

202201 Audubon Climate WatchAudubon’s Climate Watch Program began after an earlier Audubon report published in 2014 on the impact of climate change on North American birds and has become even more critical since the 2019 report. This community science project aims to test the predictions in the report with volunteers who are documenting specific species’ responses to climate change in their local areas. Climate Watch volunteers survey bird species targeted by Audubon based on climate models and ease of detection. The program is currently focusing on bluebirds, nuthatches, painted bunting, and two species of goldfinch and towhee.

Participants survey the target birds in their chosen areas during thirty-day periods in the winter non-breeding season (January 15 through February 15) and/or in the summer breeding season (May 15 through June 15). To facilitate participation at the local level, Audubon set up a grid of 10 x 10 km Climate Watch Squares that cover the USA. There are multiple ways to participate, but the simplest is to volunteer as an individual and report your findings to the national Climate Watch team.

You can learn more about how to participate in Audubon’s Climate Watch Program as an individual by reviewing the information here and by reading Audubon’s Climate Watch FAQs.

It is also possible to participate as a local coordinator for a specific area. Climate Watch coordinators manage their area’s participation in Climate Watch by recruiting participants, training them to plan and conduct Climate Watch surveys, and ensuring that the data they collect are submitted to the national Climate Watch team. Our chapter doesn’t currently have a local Climate Watch coordinator, so if you are interested learning more about what’s involved with this role, please review this information to find out more about how to participate as a Climate Watch coordinator.

As Audubon says, “The data collected by our dedicated Climate Watch volunteers are already helping us to tell the story of the birds we love, aiding in our understanding on how these birds are responding to climate change.” If you would like to find out more about becoming a Climate Watch individual volunteer or coordinator in our area, please contact the Audubon Climate Watch Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..