How Climate Change Threatens Hummingbirds

By 2080, four species of hummingbirds will likely be forced north thanks to warming temperatures.

Audubon's Birds and Climate Change Report, released in September 2014, shows that nearly half of all North American birds could be at risk thanks to climate change. Unfortunately, four species of hummingbirds are among them. 

As part of our report, Audubon's science team created range maps showing how various species might have to move north to deal with warming temperatures. As birds move into these new locations, it's unclear if they will be able to find the habitat and food sources they need to survive. This will reduce their range so dramatically that the affected birds are considered climate-threatened or climate-endangered.

This video explains the Birds and Climate Change Report, and shows how the Allen's Hummingbird might be affected:

There are four species of hummingbirds that are either climate-threatened or climate-endangered. Here's how global warming might affect them:

Allen's Hummingbird (climate-endangered):

Climate Threat: By 2080, this hummingbird is expected to lose 90 percent of its current breeding range, according to Audubon’s climate models. In order to adapt, this colorful species may have to transition from coastal areas to more inland ones as its climate space shifts—and find the nectar it needs there.

Black-chinned Hummingbird (climate-threatened):

Climate ThreatMany bird species are predicted to occupy new ranges as a result of climate change. The unassuming Black-chinned Hummingbird is thought to have begun a climate-mediated range shift already.

Calliope Hummingbird (climate-threatened):

Climate ThreatAudubon’s climate model forecasts an expansion of areas with suitable climate, mainly north and east—but only 22% of the current summer range remains stable by 2080. 

Rufous Hummingbird (climate-endangered):

Climate ThreatBy 2080, this glittering hummingbird is projected to lose 100 percent of non-breeding range in the United States, according to Audubon’s climate model. 

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