Ovenbird. Photo: Linda Freshwaters Arndt/Alamy

How Climate Change Will Affect Birds in Wisconsin

Vulnerable Birds in Wisconsin

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.


Flyway Mississippi Flyway
State Brief Download [PDF]
Website http://gl.audubon.org

Below, find out which of 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.

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How will the Ovenbird's range be affected in Wisconsin?

Rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns affect birds' ability to find food and reproduce, which over time impacts local populations, and ultimately continent-wide populations, too. Some species may even go extinct in your state if they cannot find the conditions they need to survive and raise their young.

Select a warming scenario to see how this species’ range will change under increased global temperatures.

Reducing warming makes many types of birds found in Wisconsin less vulnerable.

In order to hold warming steady, we must act now to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and limit warming to 1.5 degrees. We must reduce our carbon emissions and also absorb what is produced through natural solutions like reforestation or with technology that removes carbon from the air.

Click the three different warming scenarios to explore how increased warming puts more species in Wisconsin at risk.

Wisconsin's Birds and Habitats

The shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, and the Mississippi River along Wisconsin’s borders, are important migratory corridors for songbirds and raptors. The state’s 15,000 smaller lakes host breeding waterfowl. In spruce and pine forests of northern Wisconsin, you may hear the nocturnal tooting of a Northern Saw-whet Owl or even catch a glimpse of an elusive Boreal Chickadee. The extensive marshes of Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and Horicon National Wildlife Refuge provide important habitat for Sandhill Cranes and Trumpeter Swans, as well as more than 200 other species.

Climate Policy in Wisconsin

Electricity Generation Breakdown
2.5 % Wind
2.2 % Biomass
4.1 % Hydro
21 % Natural Gas
55.2 % Coal
.2 % Petroleum
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets
Renewable Portfolio Standard
BY 2015
Member of the US
Climate Alliance?

(Data: U.S. EIA)

The cities of Madison, Middleton, Eau Claire, and Monona have 100-percent renewable energy commitments. The state is also making progress on clean energy development, with a 12.8 percent increase in installed wind and solar generation from 2017 to 2018.

Climate Threats Facing Birds and People in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has experienced an increase in extreme flooding, with five 100-year floods and one 1,000-year flood in the last six years. Most of Wisconsin has warmed about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing ice cover and worsening algal blooms on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. In the coming decades, Wisconsin will likely experience rapid and uncertain Great Lakes water-level fluctuations, more extreme heat days, shifting forest compositions, and reduced agricultural yields.

The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk harm people, too. Hover over or tap an area on the map to see specific threats that will affect that area as warming increases.