Bronzed Cowbird

brocow
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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Threatened

Bronzed Cowbird

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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Focal Species
Vince Smith/Flickr Creative Commons

The amazing “helicopter display” of a male Bronzed Cowbird is one of the avian world’s great spectacles, and it’s one that’s becoming better-known to U.S. birders, as the species has expanded its North American range in recent decades. Female cowbirds lay eggs in the nests of other bird species, and declines in numbers of Altamira and Audubon’s orioles in southern Texas have been attributed to the explosion in the Bronzed Cowbird population there. That explosion could be set to fizzle; winter climate space of this species in the United States is predicted to shift by 75% over the coming century, though most U.S.-breeding Bronzed Cowbirds currently winter in Mexico.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.


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