The Red-Winged Blackbird was the most reported bird sighted in the 2019 Great Backyard Bird Count, Photo By Walter Siegmund (via)
Numbers have been tabulated from February's 2019 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), and the count of participating countries, humans, and birds went up!
Bird-counting is ecologically necessary. The Cornell Lab, whose mission it is to "interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds" needs to answer these questions answered every year:
• How will the weather and climate change influence bird populations?
• Some birds, such as winter finches, appear in large numbers during some years but not others. Where are these species from year to year, and what can we learn from these patterns?
• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?
• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?
Snow Geese in Flight, By Cephas via
Obviously, bird-counters from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society cannot be in every neighborhood at counting times, so in 1998 the two organizations launched the Great Backyard Bird Count as the first online citizen-science project to count the birds during the same period of time - 4 days - throughout the U.S.
Then, in 2013, the GBBC went international and, though most of the bird counting still comes from the U.S., year by year more citizens from other countries join in, so the data collectors get an idea of influxes and exoduses of birds throughout the world.
Now, in 2019, the GBBC has had the greatest participation ever and more birds counted than ever! The U.S. is still the top contributor by far, but other countries like India, Canada Australia, Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Taiwan, and Colombia follow.
As for the numbers of individual birds recorded, take a look at these tabulated by the GBBC on March 6, 2019. I don't see any of these in my backyard!
|Species||Number of Individuals|
But the most reported species reflect the predominance of U.S. participants. (I'm surprised the most prevalent bird isn't the American Crow, but maybe it just seems that way!)
Male Northern Cardinal by Hari Krishnan via
|Number of Checklists|
You might be interested in knowing which countries reported the most number of species in 2019. The stars next to the numbers represent a new record set by the country for species recorded.
|Country||Number of Species|
Good to know the U.S. is somewhere on this list! By the way, California residents were the highest to report in the States, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
There's so much more information you can learn from the 2019 GBBC here, but if you have 2-3 minutes, you should watch this beautiful video which tells us all why bird information is so important.
For more information, visit The Great Backyard Bird Count, and if you participated in the Count, log in and see your results!