Urban areas and their surrounding suburbs occupy only about 2 percent of the contiguous 48 states, but they are continuing to transform many landscapes. Nonnative species like house sparrows and starlings adapt best, but all cities have parks, backyards, and other planted spaces that can support wild birds. Although seasonal migrants also use this habitat, only species that breed or winter in urban areas regularly have been analyzed. Other hazards are air and water pollution; collisions with windows, tall buildings, communication towers, and vehicles; disturbance of natural behaviors; and an overabundance of predators that thrive in human environments.
All urban birds are also found in natural habitats. The natural habitats of these urban birds are shown in this pie chart.
*Figure 1. All urban birds are also found in natural habitats. Only one of the urban birds is also a grassland bird, five are found in shrublands, 15 in woodlands, ten in water and wetlands, and 14 in multiple natural habitats.
*Figure 2. Of the 45 urban bird species, 44 are green species, none are yellow WatchList, and one is red WatchList.
*Figure 3. According to the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data from 1966 to 2003, 20 of 43 urban species are declining, and there is no trend information for two species.
Though able to breed on city rooftops throughout North America, this species’ population has dropped by half, to about 11 million birds.
This swift nests in yards and chimneys across the eastern United States, yet its population has plummeted 44 percent, to about 15 million birds.
This Mexican native finds refuge from the pet trade in south Texas cities. The parakeet now numbers about 200,000 throughout its range.
Urban Species on Yellow Watchlist – None
Other Urban Species on Red WatchList – None