Deep in the Minnesota wilderness, you can hear the haunting call of the state bird, the common loon, echoing across a still, clear lake. But by the end of this century, this lake may be silent.

A study by the National Audubon Society finds that the loon’s habitat is shrinking and moving north — and loons are not alone. More than fifty years after Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, almost half the birds in America are again threatened — this time by climate change.

David Yarnold, president of the Audubon Society, says large, landscape-level conservation can help ensure that birds have the habitats they need to survive as their ranges shift.

Yarnold: “People are deeply connected to birds, whether that’s seeing a cardinal in winter in the northeast, or it’s seeing an Anna’s hummingbird in Los Angeles or bobolinks in the Midwest, you know, people see birds and connect them to their own memories. Or they connect them to what they want for their kids’ and grandkids’ futures. Birds move people.”

Yarnold says there is much we can do to reduce climate change and help birds adapt.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Common loon spreading wings in display with splashes of water from the lake. Copyright protected.

More Resources
Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report

Lisa Palmer

Lisa Palmer is a freelance journalist and a fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, in Annapolis, Md. Her writing covers the environment, energy, food security, agriculture,...