Print

Print


That's a helpful site, although the list includes only "land birds," so no estimates for ducks, geese, gulls, rails, pelicans, cormorants, etc. But it lists Red-winged Blackbird as the third most abundant land bird in North America. The top 20 are below.

 

Dave Scheu

St. Louis, MO

[log in to unmask]

 

Common Name

Population

American Robin

310,000,000

Dark-eyed Junco

260,000,000

Red-winged Blackbird

190,000,000

Red-eyed Vireo

140,000,000

White-throated Sparrow

140,000,000

Yellow-rumped Warbler

130,000,000

European Starling

120,000,000

Mourning Dove

110,000,000

Swainson's Thrush

100,000,000

Horned Lark

99,000,000

Common Grackle

97,000,000

Chipping Sparrow

89,000,000

Northern Cardinal

86,000,000

House Sparrow

82,000,000

Cliff Swallow

80,000,000

Orange-crowned Warbler

80,000,000

Savannah Sparrow

80,000,000

Lapland Longspur

70,000,000

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

70,000,000

 

 

From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Walter Wehtje
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 11:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: North American Bird Population

 

One source you can peruse is the Partners In Flight Database 

 

http://www.rmbo.org/pif_db/laped/default.aspx

 

 

Most of the estimates are based on BBS data, but at least they're a starting point for getting a sense of the most common species in North America.

 

Have fun.

 

walter Wehtje

Columbia, MO

 

On Jul 22, 2009, at 3:55 PM, Dave Faintich wrote:



Bill -

 

Just to set the record straight, I have participated in the annual CBC at Clarence Cannon each year for a number of years, and I DO know that counting birds is NOT easy (although I don't count birds in the same small area 3-4 times/month). 

 

I didn't intend to imply such a thing -- just thinking that maybe one or more of the top birding organizations had compiled various counts from across the nation to come up with some educated nationwide "estimates".

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

...Dave Faintich

Olivette, MO
http://david.faintich.com/

 

"The truth of the matter is, the birds could very well live without us, but many - perhaps all - of us would find life incomplete, indeed almost intolerable without the birds" ~~ Roger Tory Peterson

 

 


From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 3:18 PM
To: Dave Faintich; [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: North American Bird Population

NO ONE counts the common ones completely. These are estimates. The closest "estimates" might be from the Breeding Bird Survey. This survey probably actually counts birds on a small fraction of a percent of all the habitat in North America. As one example of how these are estimates, there is ONE BBS route in the entire Missouri Bootheel. I conduct that one, and usually count around 400 RWBL. I have little doubt there are upwards of half a million or more in the entire Bootheel. A hundred bird counters could drive themselves insane and still not get a complete count of them. Then, there is error associated with these estimates. Did the "representative" areas get counted? Were the observers good at counting? Was the weather ideal for counting? How detectable were the birds? All these and many other factors mean that estimates have error.

 

"Threatened" and "endangered" are legal definitions at the federal level, and a species gets on those lists by petition. these petitions are accepted oftentimes based on "best professional judgment". Some counts of these species are very accurate (Whooping Cranes are large and visible and very rare, and a complete count is obtained every year.) Many of the Hawaiian forest birds, on the other hand, are in poorly-accessed areas, in trees, not very visible, etc. Many of the "counts" of these are ballpark estimates as a result (300-400, for example).

 

The oft-repeated statement that Red-winged Blackbirds are the most common bird in North America is not really based on any hard numbers. Rather, it is based on estimates from small areas, relative abundance of Red-wings (that is, they are often the most common species in many, many habitats), their wide distribution, and counts done by USDA folks of winter flocks in many areas. That being said, who knows? They may NOT be the most abundant species in North America, but my money is on them.

 

If you think counting birds is easy, try it in a small area, and repeat it 3-4 times over a month. You will be amazed at the variation in your counts!

 

----Bill Eddleman

----- Original Message -----

From: [log in to unmask]">Dave Faintich

Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 2:25 PM

Subject: Re: North American Bird Population

 

Bill -

 

I totally agree with your synopsis, however, the question is -- does a reputable birding organization publish a list of "estimated" total North America bird counts?

 

One would think, as these organizations are "counting" the threatened and/or endangered species, they would also "count" the rest of the birds (if they didn't count the others, how would they know which ones were most threatened or endangered?).

 

...Dave Faintich

Olivette, MO
http://david.faintich.com/

 

"The truth of the matter is, the birds could very well live without us, but many - perhaps all - of us would find life incomplete, indeed almost intolerable without the birds" ~~ Roger Tory Peterson

 

 


From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bill Eddleman
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 2:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: North American Bird Population

I would submit that Snow Geese are relatively completely counted by CBC, because the circles often center on refuges. Red-wings are undoubtedly less thoroughly counted by CBCs. The Breeding Bird Surveys may give a better picture, but there are a lot of assumptions there, too.

 

Of course, NO ONE has complete counts for any common species--only the rare, threatened or endangered ones (sometimes).

 

----Bill Eddleman, Cape Girardeau

----- Original Message -----

From: [log in to unmask]">Dave Faintich

Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:12 AM

Subject: North American Bird Population

 

MO-Birders -

 

I am trying to resolve a question about N.A. bird populations and I hope someone on MO-Birds can assist me.

 

I was discussing bird populations with my brother and I mentioned that I believed the most common bird in North America was the Red-winged Blackbired (a statistic I've believed was true for some time).  He came back with a list from the most recent CBC, which shows the Snow Goose at #1.

 

Most Numerous Birds

Rank  

Species

Individuals

1

Snow Goose

1,337,300  

2

Canada Goose

971,776  

3

American Robin

968,788  

4

European Starling

549,309  

5

American Crow

504,994  

6

Common Grackle

499,616  

7

Red-winged Blackbird

423,188  

8

American Goldfinch

421,685  

9

Dark-eyed Junco

285,120  

10

Pine Siskin

279,469  

 

In searching the internet, I found one article that said there were 320,000,000 American Robins in NA, but I couldn't find an authoritative list anywhere.

 

Can anyone help?

 

...Dave Faintich

Olivette, MO
http://david.faintich.com/

 

"The truth of the matter is, the birds could very well live without us, but many - perhaps all - of us would find life incomplete, indeed almost intolerable without the birds" ~~ Roger Tory Peterson

------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1
------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1
------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1
------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1

 

 
------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1
------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1