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North Dakota Bird Life:

Tracking Changes Over a Quarter Century

How Many Birds in North Dakota?


We estimated there were about 25.5 million breeding pairs in North Dakota in 1967, 24.1 million pairs in 1992, and 27.4 million pairs in 1993. Multiplying these estimates by two gives a rough estimate of nearly 50 million individual breeding birds in North Dakota during the breeding season, before young are produced. This estimate is conservative because some breeding birds are polygynous, with males having two or more mates.

Population estimates of some common breeding birds in North Dakota, in 1967, 1992, and 1993. Numbers represent indicated pairs.

Species
1967
1992
1993
Mallard 457,000 249,000 439,000
Northern Pintail 371,000 50,000 127,000
Blue-winged Teal 612,000 216,000 312,000
Northern Harrier 33,000 46,000 75,000
Sharp-tailed Grouse 39,000 102,000 72,000
Sora 68,000 90,000 167,000
American Coot 761,000 169,000 271,000
Killdeer 227,000 248,000 312,000
Upland Sandpiper 139,000 236,000 198,000
Wilson's Phalarope 157,000 66,000 79,000
Mourning Dove 628,000 742,000 733,000
Western Kingbird 221,000 427,000 390,000
Horned Lark 2,772,000 2,412,000 3,672,000
Cliff Swallow 308,000 743,000 477,000
Barn Swallow 206,000 408,000 420,000
Blue Jay 29,000 58,000 66,000
American Crow 60,000 28,000 58,000
Black-capped Chickadee 6,000 59,000 66,000
House Wren 111,000 473,000 449,000
Marsh Wren 112,000 250,000 336,000
American Robin 144,000 254,000 267,000
Brown Thrasher 93,000 187,000 229,000
Lark Bunting 1,368,000 1,541,000 686,000
Savannah Sparrow 1,120,000 295,000 596,000
Song Sparrow 116,000 216,000 274,000
Chestnut-collared Longspur 2,544,000 1,351,000 1,707,000
Bobolink 464,000 405,000 371,000
Red-winged Blackbird 2,038,000 1,306,000 1,536,000
Western Meadowlark 2,034,000 1,080,000 1,441,000
Common Grackle 302,000 658,000 651,000
Brown-headed Cowbird 1,005,000 1,425,000 1,335,000
Baltimore Oriole 44,000 105,000 86,000
American Goldfinch 227,000 316,000 282,000
House Sparrow 214,000 397,000 380,000


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