The Most Commonly Seen Bird in Mass. is Not The State Bird (photos)
We've been into the spring season for close to a month now and I have been listening to the birds in my backyard. This activity made me wonder what some of the common birds are in our state. I thought to myself, "I know who I can reach out to with this question." Ray Brown of course. Ray has been hosting the talk show Talkin' Birds on Sunday mornings at 9:30 for several years on WSBS. He's an expert on all things birds and he makes the show exciting and fun with trivia, bird sounds, expert guests, plus chances to win. The show is a bird enthusiasts' haven.
So, I emailed Ray and asked him what the most common bird is in the Bay State and this was his reply in the email.
As for the most common bird in Massachusetts (at least as far as “backyard” birds go), I think it’s either the American Robin (the robin that we typically see much of the year hunting for worms) or the Black-capped Chickadee (our State Bird). I think that, as populations fluctuate, it’s hard to say for sure which one is #1. Also close to the top would be the Blue Jay, the Northern Cardinal, and the Downy Woodpecker -- and maybe the European Starling and the House Sparrow, but they are both non-native "invasive" species, so I don't like to count them in!
Ray definitely knows his birds because I compared his answer to the website gardensalive.com which is the United States of Birding. According to the site, the following is the methodology they use for deciphering the Bay State's most commonly seen bird.
We used the latest data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to find out which bird was seen most often in each state in 2019. Then, we determined which states are best for birding based on the number of birds seen per capita in 2019. We also looked at fluctuations in the total number of individual birds sighted over the past 10 years to form a historical perspective on birding.
Garden's Alive was in agreement with one of Ray's two options. So, according to Ray and Garden's Alive, the most commonly seen bird in Massachusetts is not the state bird which is the Black-capped Chickadee but the American Robin. Then again as Ray mentioned above, the populations fluctuate which means that it's very possible the Black-capped Chickadee could steal the championship from the American Robin at any point. American Robin, you better have eyes in the back of your head.