Each year, thousands of bird watchers look forward to the Great Backyard Bird Count held by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada. This year, for the first time, the sponsoring organizations have opened up the reporting to backyard birdwatchers all around the world.
As you might expect, the global effort held between February 15 and February 18 set new records for total birds counted as well as number of species recorded. While results will still be accepted through March 1, to date, more than 25 million birds were spotted by backyard birders during this year's event.
Submissions from 103 countries have been received so far, according to Cornell, including one from Antarctica. Between all the participants in those countries, 3138 species were spotted during the four day event. That represents one-third of all the known bird species in the world, according to a report publsihed by Newswise.
The United States and Canada, because of their longer history with the Great Backyard Bird Count, submitted the most checklist with 106,902 and 10,917 respectively. India was next with 390 submissions.
The most commonly reported species were the the northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, mourning dove, downy woodpecker, and the house finch. The species with the most individuals sighted were the snow goose, Canada goose, red-winged blackbird, European starling, and American coot.