How Many Birds Are There In North America?

Falcon photograph by Scott Bourne

Like most things – the answer to the question – “How Many Birds Are There In North America” is – it depends. If you are asking how many species there are – well the Americas have a rich and varied avifauna. The Continental United States is home to 1107 different species of birds, while Canada and Alaska host 686 and 521 species respectively. Despite being a smaller country, Mexico has almost as many birds as the US, with 1118 species recorded here. That amounts to 3,432 different species.

If you’re asking about actual bird counts, nobody really knows. It’s easier to narrow that down to USA only. In that case we have at least, an educated guess.

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that a minimum of 10 billion birds breed in the United States every year and that as many as 20 billion may be in the country during the fall migratory season.

There are birds everywhere. Most people in the US will see an American Robin, an American Crow, a Mourning Dove or a House Sparrow at least once a day. That is – if they are looking for one.

From backyards to parks – mall parking lots and sailing harbors, every square mile of the continent is covered with birds. And we’re all better off because of it.

If you’d like to show your appreciation for this site, please consider the purchase of prints or gifts featuring Scott’s bird art, visit for more information.


Scott Bourne View All →

Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.

Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.

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