April 2, 2021

Great Backyard Bird Count 2021- Results

Scroll down for Campus Bird Count results

Great Backyard Bird Count Results


GBBC 2021 was perhaps the most memorable Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) to date in India!

During the 4-day event of the GBBC, birders across the world take time out to watch birds and record the birds they see and hear. Since GBBC is carried out at around the same time of the year in February, it helps to create an annual real-time snapshot of bird distributions. Many tens of thousands of birdwatchers participate in this event every year, with GBBC serving as a wonderful catalyst to introduce new people to birds and birdwatching. This was the ninth year of GBBC in India.

Just like previous years, this GBBC in India also saw a considerable increase in the number of birders, checklists, and the number of person-hours spent birding from previous editions. In India, 2954 birders uploaded 31,355 lists clocking close to 17,000 hours of birding and recording an impressive 965 species–72 % of the total number of species known to occur in the country! Can we hit 1000 next year? A nice challenge for all birders across the country. Almost 1000 (50%) more birders from 30% more districts participated this year compared to the last, making this event a remarkable success. A big thank you to all state coordinators and to everyone who organised bird walks, talks on campuses and elsewhere in the country. We are grateful to all data quality reviewers who reviewed all observations in such a short span of time.

GBBC 2021 GBBC 2020
Participants 2,954 2,018
Lists 31,355 24,966
Species 952 924
Districts 400 309

GBBC Global

In 2020, India was fourth globally in terms of the number of species reported, behind Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil. This year India has risen to the second position behind Columbia based on the number of species reported. Similar to last year, this year too India ranked third behind the United States and Canada in terms of checklists uploaded. But we have almost caught up with Canada! We hope that even more participation next will see India moving into 2nd place!

The number of species shown here differs from that shown in this article, as sensitive species are not included.

The number of checklists shown differs from that used for analysis.

GBBC India

Previously, during GBBC, a lot of birding was concentrated in the southern states of India but, this year there was a dramatic increase in participation from other parts of the country – particularly the Western Himalayas, Central India, and Gujarat.

In the map below, each list contributed to GBBC is shown as a translucent circle. Deeper yellow indicates overlapping circles, which signals more lists from that location.

GBBC 2021 Coverage Map

The top three states in terms of checklists were Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. Tamil Nadu uploaded a whopping 11,293 checklists. Salem district in Tamil Nadu alone uploaded over 9,000 checklists during this GBBC!

Top states that uploaded over 100 lists

State/ Union Territoris Lists
Tamil Nadu 11293
Kerala 6267
Karnataka 2284
Maharashtra 1731
Andhra Pradesh 1623
Uttarakhand 1335
Jammu & Kashmir 1095
Madhya Pradesh 935
Gujarat 699
West Bengal 586
Assam 485
Telangana 461
Himachal Pradesh 347
Rajasthan 339
Chhattisgarh 268
Uttar Pradesh 233
Odisha 195
Delhi 155
Puducherry 132
Ladakh 121
Andaman & Nicobar 112
Haryana 107

Top 15 districts in terms of lists uploaded

District Lists
Salem 9290
Idukki 1328
Alappuzha 1156
Dehradun 1068
Bangalore 953
Thrissur 815
Wayanad 720
Dakshina Kannada 718
Chennai 550
East Godavari 502
Palakkad 429
Ernakulam 418
Thiruvananthapuram 400
Ratnagiri 369
Jammu 362

Top 10 states in terms of species recorded

The number of species shown differs from that used for analysis.

Birders from Jammu & Kashmir uploaded 1095 lists – a tremendous increase from 84 in 2020. An amazing feat of coordination! Ladakh also, from 24 lists last year, had 121 this GBBC. There was a large increase in the number of lists uploaded from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana. Madhya Pradesh had a remarkable increase in participation from 219 to 708 checklists this year. Bihar and Manipur too jumped from 4 lists in 2020 to 33 and 22 lists this year! Mizoram remains the only state in India without participation.

A special mention to the birders of Sikkim who participated in numbers and uploaded 56 checklists this year compared to none last year!

The state and district-level coverage of GBBC 2021 based on checklists are shown below. To view the summary (number of checklists, participants, species), please click on a state/ district in these zoomable maps.

GBBC 2021 State & Union Territory coverage

GBBC 2021 District coverage

P.S. The above maps are best viewed on a computer.

What are the most common species in India?

Just like last year’s GBBC, Common Myna was the most common bird in India (except in the western parts). In 2020, House Crow was the second most common species reported but this year it was replaced by the Red-vented Bulbul (38%) in the North, East, South, Central and West regions. The Rose-ringed Parakeet was previously common in the North and West, and this year in addition to both regions, it was also one of the common species reported in the South.

Comparing the 2020 and 2021 GBBC shows some interesting trends.

The Himalayas: The same species from last year were reported this year too with very little change in terms of their frequency of reporting.

North: Last year the reporting frequency of Black Kite was 78% but surprisingly this year it remained absent from the top 5 most common species. It was replaced by Red-vented Bulbul. Is it possible that the Black Kites have migrated locally earlier? An interesting hypothesis!

East: This year, Asian Pied Starling and Oriental Magpie-Robin were new amongst the top 5, replacing House Crow and Black Drongo.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands: Common Myna’s reporting frequency was 86% last year but this year it was only 49%. Another interesting thing to see is four new entrants into the top 5 – Asian Glossy Starling, Plume-toed Swiftlet, Olive-backed Sunbird and Pied Imperial-Pigeon. These four species replaced Red-whiskered Bulbul, Brown Shrike, Asian Koel, and House Crow from 2020. An increase in the number of birders, birding spread, and checklists uploaded in 2021 could have resulted in this amazing turnover!

South: House Crow, Common Myna, and Black Drongo continued as the top 3 but the Feral Pigeon and Large-billed Crow were replaced by Rose-ringed Parakeet and Red-vented Bulbul.

Central: The same species from last year remained on the list except for Purple Sunbird which was knocked out by Feral Pigeon.

West: The top 5 species remained the same as last year. However, the reporting frequency of Red-wattled Lapwing shot up from 42% to 61%. This is one of the most common species in many western states like Gujarat and Rajasthan. In some regions, it is known even from the busiest parts of cities enabling birders to observe nests and chicks. But note that there is no other part of the country it is so abundant!

The map shown below illustrates the 5 most common species in terms of their frequency of reporting, in seven broad regions in India.

Here is a brief glimpse of lists and species recorded from each of the broad regions during this year’s GBBC (with the previous year’s GBBC numbers in brackets)

Region Lists Species reported
A&N 113 (31) 135 (122)
Central 3148 (1124) 414 (473)
East 1241 (590) 609 (637)
Himalayas 2898 (1458) 517 (566)
North 652 (406) 297 (316)
South 22148 (12173) 454 (552)
West 1042 (339) 336 (378)

Highlights for GBBC India 2021

Given the remarkable performance of India in GBBC 2021, we wish to highlight some of the most enthusiastic participants who uploaded checklists of 15-minute duration.

Top 30 birders in India in terms of number of 15 min checklists uploaded

Participant Name 15 min lists
Raj Guhan 243
Angeline Mano 242
Ganeshwar SV 241
Vasen Suli 219
Vasi 211
Renju TR 208
Venkatesh S 202
Abhin M Sunil 190
Harikrishnan C P 166
Sudheesh Mohan 153
Subramania Siva 144
Aiswaryalakshmi A R 138
Dilgith Surendran 129
Sneha Lakshmanan 129
Elavarasan M 127
Hari Kumar 120
Habeel Sahal 115
Malyasri Bhattacharya 108
Govind Girija 105
Vaishnav S 105
Abhirami C 95
Sakthi Chinnakannu 94
Franco P S 90
Maxim Rodrigues K 86
Sankar V 86
Vivek Hasyagar 85
Vishnu N 83
Padmavathy Matheswaran 81
Premchand Reghuvaran 78
Tubin Babu 78

Top birders in each state, in terms of the number of 15 min checklists uploaded

State/ UT Participant Name 15 min lists
Tamil Nadu Raj Guhan 243
Kerala Renju TR 208
Karnataka Maxim Rodrigues K 86
Uttarakhand Malyasri Bhattacharya 80
Jammu & Kashmir Parvez Shagoo 58
Maharashtra Priyanka Kadam 56
Gujarat Irshad Theba 55
Andhra Pradesh Janardhan Uppada 46
West Bengal Upamanyu Chakraborty 44
Madhya Pradesh Narendran M.M 36
Himachal Pradesh Malyasri Bhattacharya 28
Chhattisgarh Ajay Agarwal 25
Puducherry Sandeep Kumar Reddy Gangasani 24
Uttar Pradesh Pallavi Arora 23
Assam Jigyas Boruah 22
Meghalaya Aditya Banerjee 22
Odisha Ajay Sarvagnam 20
Telangana Pranay Juvvadi 18
Rajasthan Ranjeet Singh 17
Andaman & Nicobar Omkar Dharwadkar 15
Ladakh Mohd Arhaan 14
Goa Rahul Pereira 11
Punjab Sanjiv Khanna 11
Sikkim Rozan Dhungel 9
Delhi Neal Fonseca 8
Haryana Ronith Urs 7
Manipur Dolly Bhardwaj 7
Nagaland Rofikul Islam 7
Chandigarh Vikas Sharma 6
Arunachal Pradesh Rajesh Panwar 5
Bihar Gyanchandra Gyani 5
Daman & Diu Nirav Raval 3
Jharkhand Rishabh Lohia 2
Dadra & Nagar Haveli Saswat Mishra 1
Tripura Rajdeep Deb Purkayastha 1

So many more birders played a pivotal role in improving their regions’ participation in GBBC. A big thank you to all of you.

A shout out to Kashmir Birdwatch, Birds of Kashmir, J&K Birdlife, J& K Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Fund, Wildlife Conservation, and Birds Club of Ladakh for their impressive efforts in coordinating, participating in this event and promoting birdwatching in JK and Ladakh.

Members of Wildlife Conservation & Birds Club of Ladakh (WBBCL)

Campus Bird Count Results

The Campus Bird Count runs alongside GBBC in India, to record the birdlife in the multiple campuses across India and to promote birdwatching within institutions. Campuses include educational and training institutions, government institutions, research stations, corporate campuses, and so on. This year, a total of 143 campuses across India participated in the Campus Bird Count, uploading a total of 2,222 unique checklists.

Campus Bird Count coverage map

Table of top 15 campuses in terms of unique checklists uploaded

Campus Name Unique Checklists
College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode 225
College of Forestry–Nursery, Dapoli 205
Wildlife Institute of India Campus 161
Forest Research Institute (FRI), New Forest Campus 146
Stella Maris College 141
College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 88
Mangalore University-Main Campus 86
Christ University-Main Campus 66
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras 61
GKVK Campus, Bangalore 57
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay 52
St Aloysius College, Mangalore 50
Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi 41
Kerala Agricultural University 39

Table of top 15 campuses in terms of species reported

Campus Name Species
Forest Research Institute (FRI), New Forest Campus 197
Wildlife Institute of India Campus 176
College of Forestry–Nursery, Dapoli 117
College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 116
College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode 113
Mangalore University-Main Campus 106
Kerala Agricultural University 97
Rishi Valley–School Campus 95
Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve 90
Gandhisagar Forest Resthouse 86
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay 85
Pench Tiger Reserve–Jamtara Wilderness Camp 84
Flame of the Forest Safari Lodge 83
SSN Institutions 83
Kuvempu University Campus 78

Table of top 15 campuses in terms of species reported

GBBC Bird Walks & Talks

Close to 3,000 birders participated in GBBC 2021, a 5 % increase from 2020. Many participants across the country led groups of schoolchildren and others on birdwatching walks. In Chhatisgarh, the CEFAC team took 30-40 people on birdwatching walks on all 4 four days of GBBC. During the walks, they were able to document 161 species and uploaded around 25 lists in eBird. In Mamurabad village, Jalgaon, Shilpa Gadgil did a poster presentation on general threats to birds. She also conducted a few birdwalks with children of brick-kiln workers. Members of Satpuda Nature Conservation Society from Jalgaon conducted birdwalks for kids and adults. The Nature Conservation Society in Nashik in collaboration with Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University organised public birdwatching sessions on their university campus. In Uttarakhand, at Rajaji National Park, Ameer Hamza and Malyasri Bhattacharya took adults and children from the Van Gujjar community for birdwatching. To know more, read the stories here!

There were over 200 bird walks and talks organised across India, with a large number of school and college students and the larger public introduced to birding at educational and research campuses, lakes and other public spaces. The full list of registered events is here.

Photo by Aman Gujjar

GBBC/ CBC in the News

CBC in Mangalore University- 108 species recorded
CBC seen in seventeen campuses
CBC in Bodoland University
GBBC in Adarshgaon-Kiraksal
GBBC announcement in Bhusawal
Four-Day Great Backyard Count begins today

Further Information

GBBC 2021 was coordinated by Bird Count India and its various partners. For more information, see the following links.

Bird Monitoring in India

Contact Bird Count India at [email protected]

What Next?

GBBC will be back on 18-21 Feb 2022

In the meantime, keep eBirding and monitoring birds!

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Banner Image is by Deepak


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1 year ago

Amazing. Kudos to all the participants. Nice graphical visualization of results, too. Thanks.

10 months ago

wow, amazed . very well documented and very informative with interactive interface for understanding easily. thank you for all the efforts.

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