Many of the same effects that negatively impact birds, also harm other wildlife and humans. Working toward systemic climate improvements will protect and benefit many species. 

Cropland Expansion

Trees, shrubs, and other vegetation are often cut down to create room for agriculture which takes away valuable habitat. Pesticides used in conventional farming can also reduce the number of insects for birds to eat. Nitrogen run-off from fields can contaminate water resources used by humans and animals.


Prolonged lack of precipitation can create drought conditions which can dry out forests, create conditions for wildfire, impact plants and crops, and reduce food and water resources for wildlife as well as humans. Additionally, drought often disrupts the abundance of food sources like insects, seeds, and aquatic prey, making it harder for birds to find sufficient nutrition and potentially affecting their reproductive success and survival.

False Springs

When winter temperatures become unseasonably warm and then get cold again, trees and plants can bloom early, and insects may hatch ahead of the arrival of migrating birds who rely on these vital food resources.

Fire Weather

Wildfires cause habitat destruction and lead to loss of breeding and foraging areas for birds. The smoke and particulate matter from fires, also pose health risks for birds, other wildlife, and humans too. The conditions that are suitable for fires can also have negative impacts: high temperatures, strong surface winds, low relative humidity, and drought can all adversely affect birds especially during nesting season.

Great Lakes level change

A warming climate means more water level fluctuations in the Great Lakes and other large bodies of fresh water. These changes can adversely impact birds by causing the inundation of nesting sites during periods of high water levels, leading to nest destruction and reduced breeding success. Conversely, reduced water levels can expose previously submerged habitats, disrupting food availability and nesting opportunities for bird species dependent on stable shoreline environments. Warmer lake temperatures may also lead to the spread of invasive species such as the zebra mussel as well as an increase in algae blooms which can be harmful to wildlife and humans.

Heavy Rain

Since warm air holds more moisture than cold air, a warming climate means an increase in heavy rains. These downpours can also negatively impact birds by flooding their nests, destroying eggs and chicks, and causing hypothermia in young birds. Excessive rainfall can also lead to the flooding of foraging sites, reducing the availability of insects and other food sources, making it difficult for adult birds to find nourishment for themselves and their offspring.

Logging and Mining

Clear-cutting and forest fragmentation associated with logging activities, can destroy critical nesting sites and disrupt the complex ecosystems that many bird species rely on for food and shelter. Likewise, mining operations can lead to habitat destruction, soil and water pollution, and alterations in topography, thus reducing available habitats for birds and other wildlife.

Rising Temperatures

Birds are being impacted by rising temperatures as it shifts their habitats and migratory patterns. Warmer temperatures can also disrupt the timing of migration and breeding, leading to mismatches between the availability of food resources and the needs of birds. Recent studies also show that warming temperatures are likely the cause of some birds’ bodies getting smaller in effect to not hold as much heat.

Sea Level Rise

Some shorebirds are dependent on nesting near the shore or in fresh water near the oceans. Sea level rise will impact birds by reducing their available nesting habitats, increasing the risk of saltwater intrusion into feeding areas, and disrupting coastal ecosystems critical for foraging and migration.

Spring Heat Waves

Can impact eggs during critical incubation periods and endanger nestlings.Higher spring temperatures can impact eggs during critical incubation periods and endanger nestlings. They can also cause dehydration, heat stress and food scarcity disrupting migration and breeding patterns.


More buildings and roads increase the risk of bird strikes with windows in buildings and with cars. Urbanization also takes away valuable habitat and increases birds’ exposure to pollutants.