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Name: R' Cohen
Status: teacher
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/13/2003


Question:
I am having trouble finding the following estimates of bird populations. Please direct me to appropriate places.

1. What is the total number of wild birds in the world?

2. What is the total number of migratory birds in the world?

3. What is the total number of domestic birds (chicken, turkey, ostrich, etc. farms; pets etc.) in the world?


Replies:
According to Terres, The Audubon Encyclopedia of North American Birds, "it is difficult if not impossible to get an accurate count of the total population of a widespread species..." Given that ornithologists are not even sure how many species there really are in the world, it would be most difficult to estimate total populations. Nevertheless, the same source says that in 1951 "Fisher, a British ornithologist, estimated there are more than 100 billion individual wild birds in the world," and that Leonard Wing (1956) estimated that there were about 5.6 billion birds in the U.S. in summer and about 3.75 billion in winter. In 1931 McAtee estimated 2.6 billion breeding land birds in the U.S. Obviously these numbers are quite dated and only estimates.

I do not know where you would find estimates for domestic birds, possibly United Nations Agricultural agencies?

J. Elliott


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