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The Most Abundant Birds in North America

Estimating numbers can be tricky
© Andrew Atzert View Large

By August, most birds in North America have finished nesting, bringing billions of new birds into the world. So many birds. It might make you wonder: what is the most abundant bird in North America?

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BirdNote®  

The Most Abundant Birds in North America

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

By August, most birds in North America have finished nesting, bringing billions of new birds into the world. So many birds. It might make you wonder: what is the most abundant bird in North America?

Estimating numbers can be tricky. Most good approximations are based on surveys of singing, breeding birds in spring. Of those, the most numerous is the somber, cooing Mourning Dove, estimated at a cool 350 million birds.

[Mourning Dove]  

Mourning Doves prosper in many environments – from suburban back yards to agricultural landscapes, from open country to forest edge – and they are regulars at bird feeders.

Among our songbirds, the robin has taken the lead in recent years – perhaps 320 million robins and rising.

[American Robin song]

Why? Because robins love what we love: a bit of lawn and some shade trees.

Crows are also extremely well adapted to human environments. Their numbers are booming - especially around cities — there are now roughly 31 million crows in North America. But the robins and the Mourning Doves still have them beat.

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

###

Producer: John Kessler

Managing Producer: Jason Saul

Editor: Ashley Ahearn

Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone

Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill

Narrator: Michael Stein

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. 110208 by D. S. Herr; 22930 by W. R. Fish; 94383 by W. L. Hershberger; 10002 recorded by Martyn Stewart.

BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

© 2019 Tune In to Nature.org    August 2019   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  howmanybirds-01-2014-08-01      howmanybirds-01b

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