BERNARDSVILLE N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Could New Jersey lose its own state bird?
The Eastern Goldfinch could disappear and climate change may be to blame.
You may not see the Goldfinch in your bird feeders if global temperatures continue to climb. The National Audubon Society says this is a pattern seen across the country.
Locals are distraught by the news.
"How can you not like the Goldfinch! They're so beautiful and so cute!" Susan Garretson Friedman said.
"Nature isn't designed to handle this pace of change." Eric Stiles, president & CEO of New Jersey Audubon.
Right now, the black and yellow small North American bird can be found across the state year round and it's been that way since before the Goldfinch was named the state bird in 1935, but things are changing.
With the increasing temperatures the Audubon Society says the Goldfinch and other birds are more likely to head north to Canada to breed.
"When these animals disappear getting them back is not going to happen," Chris Neff of New Jersey Audubon said.
Experts believe all it could take is a three-degree change for the birds to move on from New Jersey.
Goldfinch love eating seeds from flower heads. Eric Stiles says other species like bees are also negatively affected by global warming.
"It is all connected and we're doing a horrific job protecting our pollinators… we're using too many pesticides. It's not good for bees which are needed for our food," Stiles explained.
New Jersey Audubon says this should be a rallying call to make changes now to leave a better legacy for future generations.
The Goldfinch is not alone. It's one of almost 400 bird species believed to be threatened by climate change.
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