Red-Winged Blackbird, Male, By Walter Siegmund

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

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
Red-winged Blackbird 4,290,218
Snow Goose 2,481,082
European Starling 2,031,493
Canada Goose 1,716,620
Common Murre 755,193
Ring-billed Gull 748,766
Mallard 720,105
American Robin 491,102
American Coot 448,816
Northern Shoveler 446,105

 

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!)

 

Northern Cardinal by Hari Krishnan

Male Northern Cardinal by Hari Krishnan via

 

Species
Number of Checklists
Northern Cardinal 56,785
Dark-eyed Junco 50,397
Mourning Dove 45,449
Downy Woodpecker 42,095
Blue Jay 40,386
American Crow 39,467
House Finch 37,726
House Sparrow 37,149
Black-capped Chickadee 35,757
White-breasted Nuthatch 33,284

 

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
Colombia 1,095*
Ecuador 948*
Brazil 844*
India 843*
Mexico 755
Peru 724*
Costa Rica 686*
United States 669*
Argentina 613*
Thailand 556

 

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!

 

related reads:

Time Again For The Worldwide Great Backyard Bird Count: February 15 - 18, 2019

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 Is Waiting For Your Hilarious Wildlife Photos!

Create Nirvana For You And Your Backyard Birds With These Two Fabulous Fountains

 

 

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