Keeping
a
List

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- Keeping a List

  


Many bird watchers and backyard feeders enjoy keeping a list of the birds they have seen. The list might be of the birds they have seen in their own backyard or they may keep a life list, which is all the birds they have seen since they started bird watching.

Like other aspects of bird watching, listing can be very casual or very competitive. Here is a list of lists, so to speak, that some people keep.

1. Backyard list - all the birds seen in your backyard

2. Annual list - all the birds they see in a year

3. Life list - all the birds they have seen since they started bird watching

4. The Great Sit - a world wide competition to see who can see the greatest number of species from within a 15 foot radius circle in a 24 hour period.

5. Zoo list - all the birds seen in zoos

6. Television list - All the bird species they have seen or heard on TV. Check out the old Adam 12 police series to add Bachman's sparrow to your TV list. An interesting find since Bachman's sparrow frequents the piney woods of the southeastern United States, not suburban LA.

7. Street names that are bird names

And the lists go on and on. Some members of the American Birding Association, (about 20,000 strong), are very competitive in their listing and compete for the top state list, for the top United States list, for the top Big Day (most birds you can see in a day), for the top world list, etc. Most bird watchers, however, are content to keep a simple backyard list and/or a life list.

If you decide to keep a list of the birds you see, there are a few things to keep in mind. When recording a species you have seen for the first time, it is standard procedure to record the common name, the date seen and the location. Special notes regarding identification, weather conditions or unusual plumage are also often useful for later reference.

Many beginners maintain their list by recording their sightings in their favorite field guide. This is a good approach but more than one bird watcher has managed to lose his field guide, and his life list at the same time. If you decide to use a field guide for maintaining your list, you may wish to purchase a second guide for taking into the field. The second guide can be from a different publisher, and will perhaps offer different, useful identification tips, providing you with a second resource.

The use of printed field checklists or a state checklist can make it easier to maintain and review your list.

Free List from Birdzilla

Birdzilla also makes it easy for you to maintain a life list and two additional lists, directly on-line. Simply go to the Life List page to set up your list. Its free, compliments of Birdzilla.

If you decide to become even more serious about keeping a list of the birds you have seen there are several PC-based packages that make it easy to create and manage your list.

Other Resources:

There are several other software programs for maintaining your lists on a computer.
1. AviSys 4.0 for Windows
1-800-354-7755

2. Lanius Excalibur 1.0
Purchase from Birdzilla.

3. BirdBase
Web:
www.members.aol.com/ sbsp/index.html


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