Get Involved

Climate Watch: Watching for Nuthatches or Bluebirds

Help us understand how birds are reacting to a rapidly changing climate.
Photo: Michael Thomas/Audubon Photography Awards
Get Involved

Climate Watch: Watching for Nuthatches or Bluebirds

Help us understand how birds are reacting to a rapidly changing climate.

Twice per year, January 15 - February 15 and May 15 - June 15

Nuthatches are among 74 bird species in the Great Lakes region whose ranges are expected to shift or shrink due to a changing climate, according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report released in 2014. A new community science project is taking flight to understand how birds are reacting to climate change and how humans can prepare for these changes.

To test the predictions of the report, Audubon is piloting the new community science project “Climate Watch.” Climate Watch aims to document species’ responses to climate change by having volunteers in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models project range expansion and loss by the 2020s.

Climate Watch focuses on species with the strongest predictions in the climate models. Specifically in the Great Lakes region, Climate Watch participants are asked to look for the two species of nuthatches: White-breasted Nuthatch and Red-breasted Nuthatch, or one species of Bluebird: the Eastern Bluebird

Join the Watch

1. Sign-up

Email your name and address to a Climate Watch coordinator near you. If your bird club or organization is interested in participating, please email

Sign-up to participate in the June Watch.

Ben Johnston
Kikapoo Valley Reserve
Wisconsin Madison Brenna Marsicek Madison Audubon Society Email
Wisconsin Milwaukee Karen M. Johnson   Email
Michigan Metro Detroit Brian Merlos Audubon Great Lakes Email
Ohio Columbus Angelika Nelson Columbus Audubon Society Email
Illinois Casey Larry Thorsen Coles-Cumberland Christmas Bird Count Email
Illinois Chicago Stephanie Beilke Audubon Great Lakes Email
Illinois Libertyville Emma England Lake County Audubon Society Email
Indiana Porter Kim Ehn Dunes-Calumet Audubon Society Email
Indiana South Bend Laura S. Fuderer South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society Email

2. Hone your nuthatch or bluebird finding skills

Make sure you can identify these species of nuthatches and Eastern Bluebirds by sight and sound. Your Climate Watch coordinator will let you know which group of species to focus on.

White-Breasted Nuthatch
Photo: Nick Saunders/Great Backyard Bird Count
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Photo: Megumi Aita/Audubon Photography Awards
Eastern Bluebirds, male (left) and female (right)
Photo: Michael Thomas/Audubon Photography Awards
Hear a White-breasted Nuthatch Hear a Red-breasted Nuthatch Hear an Eastern Bluebird
Learn more about White-breasted Nuthatch in our Field Guide Learn more about Red-breasted Nuthatch in our Field Guide Learn more about Eastern Bluebird in our Field Guide

3. Get ready for the survey times

Climate Watch will occur twice each year, in the winter and in the breeding season: Jan 15 - Feb 15 and May 15 - June 15.

Learn more

How you can help, right now