Global Shorebird Counts


Live update – 2021

The number of recorded shorebird species



The number of shared checklists





* Numbers in brackets are the previous year's results.

The number of unique locations



Latest species added
Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius

Counting locations

Screenshot 2020-09-10 at 17.35.19.png

Summary 2014–2020

Participation performance

This is the number of submitted unique eBird checklists shared with World Shorebirds Day between 2014 and 2020. Every shared checklist contains at least one shorebird species. Even with this year's modest campaign, the number of shared checklists increased considerably.

Screenshot 2020-09-29 at 03.05.30.jpg
005English_Global Shorebird Counting log
Countries involvement

These are the top 25 countries where eBirders submitted the most checklists from between 2014–2020. It's calculated by the number of unique submissions (based on the unique checklist ID) submitted and shared with us. Although the Global Shorebird Counts program is not a competition, it's fun to see the differences between countries and also years. Some countries/states could have done much better, knowing the level of eBird activity. Counting data for Czechia are still being entered into eBird, so the change in ranking is inevitable.


Finding the most effective way of communication is still the biggest challenge. Effectiveness highly relies on the acceptance of this initiative by the Facebook group and mail list admins. Although the World Shorebirds Day Mailchimp newsletter has a very high opening hit rate (higher than the industry average), there are still a lot of the signed-up participants who have never read these emails, despite trying to keep the number of emails sent rather is climbing slowly towards the 300 but still a long way to go.

Screenshot 2019-10-12 at 02.20.07.png
005English_Global Shorebird Counting log
Checklist submissions by countries

This chart compares years in checklist submission activity of some countries. In many cases, the fluctuation in counting activity, year after year, is considerable, but overall, it is showing a positive trend (at least in the last three years).


It's fascinating that despite the communication language is English, the Spanish language countries are doing very well thanks to the strong coordination and support of a few World Shorebirds Day ' ambassadors'. 

005English_Global Shorebird Counting log
Counting location fidelity

Are our counters returning in the following years to count shorebirds at the same location?  There is an increasing trend but only a few participants are supporting the program since its launch. There are errors in these calculations mainly due to the imprecise selection of eBird locations. The calculation is based on the unique geographical coordinates but if a counter didn't return to the very same eBird hotspot or personal spot in the following year, the database considers it as a new location. Fixing this would require a lot of manual work but it can be improved over the following years by posting more methodology materials.

Screenshot 2019-10-03 at 23.08.05.png
005English_Global Shorebird Counting log
Counting locations 2014–2020
Screenshot 2020-09-29 at 03.16.14.jpg
005English_Global Shorebird Counting log

The number of unique locations involved in the counts has been increasing since 2017. This chart nicely correlates with the number of submitted checklists chart above. The challenge is to get the same locations involved in the counts in consecutive years.

Counting locations 2014–2020

The map shows the latest update of the counting locations. Grey dots represent all counting locations between 2014 and 2020. Red markers are the locations from the actual year and they are overlapping grey markers in many cases.

Species detection

This chart compares the number of detected shorebird species within the years relative to the total number of shorebird species. The outcome is highly dependent on the participation level in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Screenshot 2019-10-03 at 22.33.03.png
005English_Global Shorebird Counting log
Species frequency

The species frequency shows how many times a species have been reported relative to the total number of shared checklists per year within the Global Shorebird Counts. In the chart only the 30 most recorded shorebird species of the 153 are displayed.


Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers and Killdeer, to name a few, reflect the stable participation rate in the Global Shorebird Counts (and the use of eBird) in the Americas. The Common Sandpiper, as the most frequently reported species in Eurasia, was only the sixteenth in this ranking. With the possible increase of Eurasian counters, the frequency of species, like Eurasian Oystercatcher, could rise.

Screenshot 2019-10-13 at 22.17.31.png

Interestingly, despite the rise of submitted checklists, the frequency of the displayed six (North American) species is on the decline. Geographic analysis is yet to come to see whether more counting effort was made on the southern parts of the Northern Hemisphere and these birds simply have not arrived at those locations by the counting week. At this point, this remains to be answered.

More results are coming soon!