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Name: Jesse E.
Status: student
Age: 17
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001

What bird has the highest population in the United States?

This is not an easy question. First, it depends upon the time of year, whether you are including migratory birds or just residential birds, and the habitat you are interested in surveying. Migratory birds often fly in great numbers through the US from South America to Canada. Do these count? Second, few species are found throughout the US, so there are region to region differences. Third, as the Audubon Society reports after their sponsored 99th Christmas Bird Count, 115 species of birds are on the decline and most are localized to specific regions of the US. Fourth, not all states are equally surveyed due to their size and the number of volunteers. Fifth, some birds are not seen easily to be counted, and only expert birders can determine them by their calls and songs. There are few expert birders.

Some states have large numbers of counting volunteer birders for both spring and winter bird counting while other states have extremely few participants. Exact numbers to determine a "winner" in the most bird category is difficult.

Now, in states like Illinois, it is clear that the Red-winged Blackbird tallies to be the most numerous. There are a fair number of birders in the state. Some states report the starling as most numerous during the winter and other birds during the other seasons.

The only organization that may have some figures is the Audubon Society. You will have to contact them for information, but they are more focused on endangered or declining birds.

The bottom line, it is impossible to determine one bird species as the most numerous without specifying specific parameters.

Steve Sample

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