Most Common Research-Grade Bird Observations (Maps): USA/Canada/Europe (w/South Korea in comments)

Which is interesting as I’ve yet to encounter that one on multiple trips to Big Island and Maui. Domestic mallards, yes.

Where is your plant list located?

Nevermind, I found it. Thanks.

California Quail is an underrated conservation issue. They’re extirpated from SF County and declining across the state (Sierra foothills are an exception). The direct mortality issue is mostly free-roaming cats and also car strikes. Habitat loss is the second biggest issue behind cats. Although cats compound the problem by making good quail habitat near people into an ecological sink due to the number of cats that pop baby quail like a kid pops M&Ms.


I think you have that confused with Koloa (Hawaiian Duck). Kolea is Pacific Golden-Plover.

It’s #5 for Louisiana. Just a few obs away from #4. I should go upload some old photos of ibis to get it up to #4. :grin:

@comradejon you going to do maps for any other animal groups?


Since many European countries are in the same size range as U.S. states, the corresponding map for Europe could be equally informative.


First you have to figure out what counts as Europe.

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I have to admit, I’m kind of disappointed in Kentucky. The Northern Cardinal is the state bird, bu the top spot for observations goes to what my father used to call “the non-migratory poop ball”?

(Also, American Robins in and around Louisville are notably suicidal, or at least they used to be. Driving along any tree-lined street in spring was akin to running the gauntlet on the Fury Road, with all of the robins swooping down in front of the car. Father blamed decades of leaded gas fumes. I blamed testosterone.)

However, I probably shouldn’t chide my birthplace too much. I live in Colorado now, and I’m probably responsible for a goodly portion of those Red-tailed Hawk observations. :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:


Where I live(d) (south Louisiana and southeast Texas) it’s the cardinals that are dashing in front of the car. They aren’t swooping down from trees. They go straight across from bush to bush at eye level. I’m worried one day I’ll end up with cardinal across my windshield. Always seems to be males. I speculate that they are showing off for the females. Could be they are just dumber than the females though.

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Robins are migratory, you may see them all year but they’re different individuals in summer and winter.


Working on the Europe map, and boy will you be disappointed! Mallards…mallards…mallards…


I love the idea and am interested in doing something similar for the 17 administrative regions of South Korea – I just made one for birds, for example – but wonder what the best way to post them would be. Create one thread for all the maps related to South Korea? Share maps in the threads you’ve created and make new threads for categories you haven’t done?

probably just add a reply here for the one about birds and the others on the type of species’ respective threads

I’ve struggled with where to put mine, too - I don’t have a great answer. So far I’ve posted (1) plants, (2) birds, (3) fungi/lichen/slime molds, and (4) butterflies/moths/arachnids. Those four posts have gotten slightly broader in subject as I’ve created more, and they now include some USA, Canada, and European maps. If you have a bunch of South Korea maps, it could be neat to put them all under a new thread - I was originally thinking about doing that for Europe maps, for example. At the same time, plants with plants, birds with birds, etc., also makes decent sense - others have posted a neat Oak map and an England-only map under my plant post, for example. But then if you have a bunch of other categories - I don’t know, right? (I’m thinking about that, too - and when is everybody going to be tired of me posting new map threads)! And maybe broader views under the established posts, but maybe more focused South Korea conversation under your own. Anyway, I agree it’s a weirdly difficult choice, which means there’s probably not really a wrong answer. :slightly_smiling_face: I’m looking forward to seeing your maps, though!


Most of them are, yes, but there were a few that we were able to recognize as year-round residents because of injuries or odd coloration. Interestingly, those were the ones that were less likely to play chicken with our Ford Falcon. They only tried to turn themselves into paté every other (or every third) time we drove down the street.


Two maps for South Korea – one for the most common RG observations by administrative region and another for the second most common observations.

Probably worth pointing out that the first eight regions (Seoul - Sejong) are self-governing cities while the remaining nine are provinces. Here is a map with all of the administrative regions marked for those who would like a reference.

Three waders, two corvids, two ducks, and one flycatcher.

Most of those are birds that are fairly easy to see anywhere in the country so it’s interesting to see that the south has a larger number of heron observations while the northwest is biased towards the Oriental Magpie. Incheon built a spoonbill nesting site on the coast that draws birders in the spring and summer which explains that city’s most common observation.

There’s a user in the southeast that posts quite a few Mandarin Duck observations so he’s likely responsible for the South Gyeongsang count. I’m not sure why the Azure-winged Magpie and Daurian Redstart are topping Gwangju and Gangwon respectively.

More diversity here, and I’m honestly surprised that the Oriental Magpie only showed up once as the second most common research-grade bird observation. On the other hand, the Rock Pigeon and Brown-eared Bulbul are common urban birds so no real surprise to see either of them make an appearance.

There are a couple of crane species that can be spotted near the DMZ (border with North Korea) in winter and I assume their popularity is why White-naped Cranes are the number two most commonly observed RG bird for Gangwon. I would have expected the Black-tailed Gull to be the second most common RG bird in South Gyeongsang but if there are more observers inland than on the coast I suppose that would explain it.

Also of note - no mallards.


Right, Koloa not Kolea. Have not seen either, but then the Kolea appears to be mostly a winter bird there (I’m there just in summer) and the Koloa is simply rare apparently on most islands.

Please do Africa! South Africa must surely be the hadeda Bostrychia hagedash! and Uganda has the grey crowned crane Balearica regulorum on its national flag. It would also be interesting to see as the mix of species as the number of iNat users in most of Africa is very low, and wildlife tourism probably contributes the majority of observations in the country.

I feel like at this point the mallard in Europe must become a meme.


In support of the meme - Most Faved Mallards of Europe (by country).

Great Britain (12 faves)

Italy (6 faves)

Ukraine (6 faves)

Netherlands (5 faves)