Uncovering the Mystery: How Many Birds Are in the World?


Birds are an essential part of our ecosystem, and they have been around for millions of years. There are many species of birds in the world, each with its unique characteristics and physical features. However, one common question that has always puzzled ornithologists is how many birds exist in the world.

The estimated number of bird species worldwide:

According to recent studies conducted by National Geographic, there are approximately ten thousand known bird species globally. These species can be found in different habitats worldwide ranging from dense forests to desert areas.

However, it is important to note that this figure represents only what scientists have documented so far. Many unexplored regions remain uncatalogued or undiscovered; thus, there could be several more undocumented bird species across the globe.

Bird population changes over time:

The number of existing bird populations tends to fluctuate primarily due to human activity and environmental factors influencing their survival rate. In recent years, some bird populations such as eagles and peregrine falcons have witnessed a substantial recovery after going through near-extinction due to hunting practices used earlier on them.

On the other hand, some migratory birds have experienced a significant decline in numbers due to habitat destruction caused by deforestation and urbanization.

How do ornithologists count birds?

Ornithologists use various methods for counting birds because tracking all bird individuals’ exact number would be impossible due to their mobility and large distribution range. One popular method involves conducting surveys during breeding seasons when most birds tend to congregate at particular locations like nesting sites or feeding grounds.

Another commonly employed technique involves capturing a certain percentage of wild populations using mist nets or banding techniques where researchers fit individualized metal bands on each captured bird’s leg before releasing them back into the wild natural habitats again safely. By monitoring banded individuals returning to the same locations later, researchers can estimate population sizes.


Although the exact number of bird species in existence remains uncertain due to new species continuing to be discovered and described every year, current estimates suggest that there are approximately ten thousand known species worldwide. With fluctuating populations influenced by many factors like habitat loss and environmental changes brought on by human activity, it is important that we continue studying birds’ behaviors and trends around us to ensure their preservation for future generations.