Hannah Waters

Senior Associate Editor, Audubon

My science and environmental writing has been published by Audubon, Smithsonian, Hakai, Vice Motherboard, Nautilus, National Geographic, Grid Philly, and other publications.

United States of America



Birders Don't Need to Be Told That Catastrophic Climate Change Approaches

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a new report that reminded readers the world over of the hot, dire straits we're now swimming in. Like most...


Shrikes Have an Absolutely Brutal Way of Killing Large Prey

It's no secret that the shrikes are formidable predators. The grayscale songbirds of the open country might look as harmless as mockingbirds, but these black-masked...


How the House Sparrow Conquered the World Is Encoded in Its Genes

This week, at a New York City park, a House Sparrow vigorously assaulted a pizza crust twice the length of its body. The three-inch bird didn't get much out of it, wrenching off...


Republican Carlos Curbelo Is Ready to Unite Congress Against Climate Change

For Carlos Curbelo, there was no single moment when he decided to start taking climate change seriously. Instead, as he describes it, it was a slow drip, one impossible for the...


New Diving-Petrel Species Lives on One Island and Is Already Critically Endangered

Codfish Island, off the southern coast of New Zealand, might be small, but it's of tremendous importance to the country's birds. The five-square-mile isle, known as Whenua Hou...


How the U.S. Government Is Aggressively Censoring Climate Science

In its new strategic plan, published in March, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes 2017 as an " unprecedented year " of natural disasters. Photos of FEMA...


We Should Definitely Call Pigeons "Rock Doves" Again

One of my favorite fun facts to unveil whenever I'm strolling with a friend down a city sidewalk goes like this: "Did you know that pigeons are actually doves?" About half the...


How Birds Survived the Asteroid Impact That Wiped Out the Dinosaurs

Sixty-six million years ago, when a large asteroid struck what is now Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the world's forests were devastated by fire and ash-and the era of modern birds...


Saving Birds From Deadly Industrial Traps Isn't Hard

In the past century, since America's premier bird-protection law-the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)-was passed by Congress, the threats to birds have changed drastically. Back...


No Shelter From This Storm (Winter 2017 Cover Story)

On a remote Alaskan sandbar, under the watchful eye of a devoted scientist for more than four decades, climate change is forcing a colony of seabirds into a real-time race:...


To See How Oil Drilling Would Transform the Arctic Refuge, Look Next Door to Prudhoe Bay

The spiderweb of infrastructure at Prudhoe Bay's oilfield will be replicated at the Arctic Refuge if it's opened to drilling—a fact legislators downplay.


Report: The Arctic Refuge Is Facing Its Biggest Threat Yet

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Alaska stretches 19 million acres of protected boreal forest, river deltas, salt marshes, and coastal lagoons where, every year, birds...


The Ambitious Plan to Save Chesapeake Bay's Shrinking Saltmarshes

The marshes are falling apart. Hope for them—and for the birds and people that call them home—comes with mud, grass, grit, and optimism.


U.S. Exit from Paris Climate Agreement Sets America on Lonely, Misbegotten Path

For weeks now, the world has waited with bated breath for President Donald Trump to decide whether the United States will continue to collaborate internationally to reduce...

The Sweethome

The Best Hair Straightener

The GVP Digital's temperature range is as wide as the rest, and its plates are big enough to grab a strand of hair without being too big to maneuver. It heats up as quickly and...


The World's Largest Marine Protected Area Is a Conservation Victory with Caveats

At the end of October, a room full of politicians, biologists, and conservationists in Australia erupted in applause. After five years of negotiations, 24 countries and the...


Future Ice Melt Enough to List Species as Threatened Now

Currently, bearded seals in the Arctic are chasing the edge of the region's sea ice south as it refreezes after a long summer's melt. They must be happy to see its return, as...


The Best Defense Against Sea Level Rise Leaves Little Room for Birds

Karl Nordstrom has grown used to seeing a world invisible to everyone else. When he goes to the Jersey Shore and gazes upon an endless stretch of white sand, he doesn't see the...


Where in the World Is the Anthropocene?

Some geologists believe we’ve entered a new era. Now they have to search for the rocks that prove it.


Think You Have a Bird-Friendly Backyard? Think Again.

Last spring, Justine Kummer was loafing on her couch when she heard a loud bang on the window in front of her. Startled, she ran outside to investigate the noise, and her heart...