Relative to the northern hemisphere, little is known about the effect of climate change on southern hemisphere birds, although the impact could be significant. Here we review the effects of climate change on birds that have been documented or predicted, with particular reference to Australian species. Potential impacts include changes in geographic range, movement patterns, morphology, physiology, abundance, phenology and community composition. The evidence suggests that these changes are already happening, both overseas and in Australia, but more research is needed to determine the extent of these impacts and how to conserve birds in the face of climate change. Management options include promoting adaptation and resilience, intensive management of sensitive species, and improved planning for mitigation techniques and monitoring.