Half-Time Report

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Time for a few highlights on what we’re seeing so far during the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count.

What was the first species reported for the GBBC?

Morepork © David Adam
eBird S39971820
Macaulay Library ML 72257111

The very first species reported was a night bird from New Zealand with an odd name you may never have heard: Morepork. This is an owl that is named for the sound it makes. Listen

The Morepork is also found on the island of Tasmania and the southeastern-most corner of Victoria, both states in Australia. Learn more about this bird.



What are Snowy Owls doing this year?

Snowy Owl Observations GBBC 2020. Click to see a larger map.

Although still falling short of the numbers seen during the massive influx into the United States during 2013, people living in the Great Lakes states and along the U.S.-Canada border are reporting these popular, charismatic birdsespecially in the eastern half of the continent, as you can see by the cluster of pins on the map.


Whitehead’s Trogon. © Jonathan Eckerson.
eBird S64558759
Macaulay Library 209559001

Just a beautiful bird!

Here’s another species you may not have heard of, but it sure is beautiful! This is Whitehead’s Trogon, reported today (February 16) by Jonathan Eckerson in Malaysia. This is one of the delightful aspects of the GBBC and eBird: you can learn about the diversity of bird species all over the world.




By the Numbers

GBBC checklists are flooding in from all over the world and it’s great fun to see the live map on the website lighting up! Bird watchers have submitted nearly 98,000 checklists so far reporting more than 5,800 species from around the world. People in more than 150 countries and territories are putting their birds on the map.

Laying claim to the greatest number of species reported to the GBBC is always hotly-contested. As it stands right now, Colombia is leading the way with 883 species (wow) and look at Ecuador with 819 species! Traditional powerhouse India has so far reported 776 species from more than 8,600 checklists. Brazil, Mexico, and the United States follow. These numbers are constantly changing, of course. See where the world species totals stand right now.

Top-10 countries by checklists submitted:

Craig McIntyre sent in this photo of a flock of American Avocets in Texas, most with their beaks buried in their feathers! GBBC 2020

  1. 1. United States (61,883)
  2. 2. India (9,054)
  3. 3. Canada (7,055)
  4. 4. Australia (1,720)
  5. 5. Spain (1,336)
  6. 6. United Kingdom (781)
  7. 7. Costa Rica (716)
  8. 8. Mexico (620)
  9. 9. Taiwan (598)
  10. 10. Argentina (564)

Totals as of 1:15 pm Feb. 16

Look at current checklist totals.

If you’re wondering about reports for a specific species, try out the “Species Map” tool. Enter the name of the species you’re curious about in the space field. The date range is already set for the span of the GBBC. If you have a specific location in mind, you can enter that too. At first you’ll see purple patches. But zoom in closer and click on “show points sooner” in the right column to see red markers where the species has been reported. You can also explore specific regions, countries, states, and more with the Explore A Region tool. It’s fun to see what others are reporting for the GBBC!

There are two ways to enjoy photos of birds from around the world. See what’s being attached to participant checklists in the eBird media catalog and visit the GBBC online photo gallery to see just a sampling of images submitted so far for the GBBC photo contest.

Photo Contest Update

We’re getting lots of great photos entered for the GBBC Photo Contest. We’ve got some of the posted in the website gallery. But even if you don’t see your image in the gallery, rest assured it will be considered for the contest. We just can’t post them all!

Photo by Mary Brown, Ontario, Canada. GBBC 2020

Keep Counting!

Keep entering your GBBC checklists! You have until March 1 to enter your data from the four days of the count using the GBBC website. If you still have data to enter after March 1, you can do so directly in the eBird website.

Thank you–keep up the good work, bird watchers!