[Tweeters] Re: NA Bird Total Population Estimate

Bob & Barb Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Thu Aug 29 16:27:08 PDT 2013

Very interesting! PIF's previous tally 3 or 4 years ago showed more robins than people in North America, but even that has changed as the human population has grown. Interesting, but also very bleak.

It's too bad the list only shows land birds. John Warham, seabird researcher in New Zealand, believed in the 1970s that Sooty Shearwater was the most abundant bird species in the world, estimating about "one thousand million," or one billion, as we say on this side of the pond. Unfortunately that number has been reduced by fisheries mortality. Roger Tory Peterson once thought that Wilson's Storm-Petrel was perhaps most abundant in the world, but he had no real data to support this. Of course neither of these species is on this list, since they don't nest in North America and they're not land birds.

Bob Boekelheide

Not sure if anything about this has been posted before but Partners in Flight has put together a very nice display of their official population estimates for all the land birds that breed in North America. A lot of work has gone into this. You should check it out. http://rmbo.org/pifpopestimates/Database.aspx

Was wondering how many of these species are more numerous than our species is in the United States. I didn't use North America because I didn't know what to do with Mexico. With 312 million of us, and using the bird's total global population estimate, there are only two species that even come close. The American Robin is 310 million and you will NEVER guess what species on the list has the largest global population (860 million).

I know! Lets make a contest out of it! Send me your three best guesses without looking at the list, and anyone who gets it right will get a free pass to the Monroe Swift night out Community Celebration on Sept. 14.

Larry Schwitters
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