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Results from the 2010 Great Backyard Bird Count

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 at 6:41 am in Birds, Great Backyard Bird Count.

Western bluebird (Joe Oliver/Walnut Creek, CA)

Count records more than 600 bird species across the continent

The 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) results are in and it was a record-breaking year for participation. During the four-day event in February, more than 97,200 bird checklists were submitted by an estimated 63,000 volunteer bird watchers from across the United States and Canada. From reports of rare species to large-scale tracking of bird movements, the GBBC provides insight into the lives of bird populations.

Acorn woodpecker

The GBBC is a joint project of the National Audubon Society ( and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology ( with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada ( It is open to bird watchers of all ages.

The results provided a snapshot of the whereabouts of more than 600 bird species. “There’s simply no better way to collect information about all these birds so quickly across such a large range,” said Janis Dickinson, Citizen Science director at the Cornell Lab.

For example, this year, participants recorded more American robins than any other bird species — primarily because of a massive roost in St. Petersburg, Florida. Participants reported 1,450,058 robins in Saint Petersburg alone. For perspective, the entire rest of the continent tallied 400,321 robins. Reports such as these help document hotspots for robins and year-to-year changes in their movements across the continent.

Results from this year’s GBBC also documented the continuing expansion of an introduced species across the continent. A dozen years ago, the Eurasian collared-dove was reported in 9 states during the GBBC. This year more than 14,000 doves were reported in 39 states and provinces.

Scrub jay
scrub jay 1

Top 10 birds reported on the most checklists in the 2010 GBBC:

1)   Northern Cardinal
2)   Dark-eyed Junco
3)   Mourning Dove
4)   Downy Woodpecker
5)   Blue Jay
6)   American Goldfinch
7)   Tufted Titmouse
8)   House Finch
9)   American Crow
10) Black-capped Chickadee

Visit the “Explore the Results” pages on the GBBC web site at to find the list of Top 10 birds reported in your state, province, or city.

View the complete summary of the 2010 GBBC:

The next Great Backyard Bird Count is February 18-21, 2011. Be sure and get involved. All you need is a great backyard to watch. /Gary

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