Bird watchers around the world set new records for the 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count — an annual event that invites everyone from families to birding professionals to pitch in and help count. The GBBC is organized by the National Audubon Society, Cornell (University) Ornithology Lab, and Bird Studies Canada. The next GBBC event will be held February 12-16, 2016.
This year the February 13-16 event had an estimated 143,941 participants from more than 100 countries, ranging from Australia and New Zealand to Mexico and the US.
A mind-boggling 5,090 species of birds (including waterfowl) — nearly half of the world’s species –were identified during the four-day count, an increase of 794 from last year. That’s a total of 18.53 million birds counted!
Weather was a major factor in this year’s bird count in the U.S. – record levels of snow on the ground and subfreezing temperatures throughout New England, plus new snowfall over that weekend throughout the Northeast.
Here are the Top 10 countries ranked by number of species and checklists submitted (as furnished by our friends at the GBBC).
Country # of Species # of Checklists
United States 671 species 108,396 checklists
Canada 241 species 10,491 checklists
India 717 species 6,810 checklists
Australia 524 species 812 checklists
Mexico 653 species 425 checklists
Costa Rica 559 species 303 checklists
Portugal 197 species 193 checklists
New Zealand 126 species 161 checklists
Ecuador 784 species 138 checklists
Honduras 353 species 133 checklists
Want to learn more about why it’s important to count birds?
Here’s the Green News Update story on GBBC from 2014
Want to know how climate change and other factors are putting birds at risk ? Read the Green News Update story from September 2014 on two new bird studies.