Climate is the average, long-term weather patterns of a particular region — not to be confused with weather. Climate change is defined as a significant shift in the average weather patterns, which you can learn more about from Tice Supplee’s “Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink” presentation, located at the bottom of the Virtual Presentations page. With climate change, the Southwest United States is growing more dry. A more dry landscape means that there is less water, food, and resources for birds to use. This has been indicated by a recent die-off event in 2020-2021 and Audubon’s Survival by Degrees Report. Arizona is suffering a huge drought and is facing a water scarcity. Unfortunately, this disaster will not end with just birds. It will work its way up the food chain and can eventually affect humans as well.
In Arizona, some of the bird species that are affected by climate change include: Eared Grebe, Painted Redstart, Yellow-eyed Junco, and Grace’s Warbler. A larger list of birds that are affected can be found on Audubon’s website.
There is still action that you can take to help reverse this catastrophe; it is not an impossible fight. You can be a hero for birds and humans alike. You can participate in Climate Action and become a Climate Advocate to help locally. You can also use native plants in your garden to provide Arizona birds with the habitat that they need to survive.
Read and print out the SAS Bookmark Series to get more tips on how to help birds. Some bookmarks of interest include: Arizona’s Backyard Birds That are Declining, Native Plants That Can Attract Birds to Your Backyard, 6 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Birds in Your Yard, and Water Features for Your Backyard Birds. The full Survival by Degrees Report can be found below. Hover over the preview and click on the icon on the top right corner to look at the PDF in a different tab for a better view of the report. Click download to print.