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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Birding Goals (1 Viewer)

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I have been thinking the last few weeks about one of my long term goals, which is to see all the families and subfamilies of birds in the world. This is in addition to my other long-term goal of seeing 700 species within the ABA area.

I am pretty far off I figure from every succeeding at my first goal, although it is doable as a "before I die" sort of thing, as I have seen 63% of the bird families following my own classification. I have 630 ABA birds, so I think I will probably hit that goal before 50. There are still some "low-hanging fruit" places where I can get new birds, without depending on vagrants.

While considering all of that, I also wondered what goals some of the other members here might have. Do you want to see a certain number of birds in a patch/county/country? See a particular set of species or visit certain places? Photograph certain things? Working on some total world list goal? Acquire some unique experience?

I think most of us have some sort of wish or goal we work towards, big or small, even if its perhaps unlikely to actually happen. So curious to hear what folks hear have as goals.
 

Welsh Peregrine

Well-known member
Goal 1 - see all the families, 28 to go
Goals 2 and 3 - see all the birds on the British list (not necessarily in Britain) and all regular Western Palaearctic species . These two are much lower priority than goal 1.
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Not sure if it's because I'm overly ambitious or just plain dumb because of my age (currently 24), but here are my goals:
  • See half of all bird species on earth, so between 5,000-6,000 (only at 629 but hoping to pass 1,000 by the end of 2022 with no heard onlys in that list)
  • See at least one member of every bird family in the world
  • Bird every biogeographic region on Earth (not every continent since going to Antarctica might be too much cost wise)
  • Photograph at least half of all the birds I see (even if all the photos aren't great, birder first, photographer second)
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
I am pretty far off I figure from every succeeding at my first goal, although it is doable as a "before I die" sort of thing, as I have seen 63% of the bird families following my own classification. I have 630 ABA birds, so I think I will probably hit that goal before 50. There are still some "low-hanging fruit" places where I can get new birds, without depending on vagrants.
Are you counting exotics or natives only, if counting exotics, are you doing any establish population or only ABA countable species?
 

David_

Well-known member
Germany
I don‘t really have big goals in birding. Only thing I try to achieve is to see all bird species regularly occurring in Germany. For me this means all regularly breeding, wintering and migratory species which are passing through each year as well as vagrants which have been seen in Germany at least once a year in the last years. Seeing a couple of rare vagrants along the journey to reach this goal would be nice but I don‘t consider birds which occur just once every few years as birds of Germany.
I love traveling all over the world and I am sure will see a lot of birds (and other animals) outside of Germany but I want to focus on exploring nature in my area. Maybe at some point I will extend my goal to include the Benelux as most parts are actually closer to the area I live in than some parts of Germany.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Are you counting exotics or natives only, if counting exotics, are you doing any establish population or only ABA countable species?
All birds on the ABA list, exotic and native. for countability I am basing it on the recent chart they produced listing all exotic populations.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Not sure if it's because I'm overly ambitious or just plain dumb because of my age (currently 24), but here are my goals:
  • See half of all bird species on earth, so between 5,000-6,000 (only at 629 but hoping to pass 1,000 by the end of 2022 with no heard onlys in that list)
  • See at least one member of every bird family in the world
  • Bird every biogeographic region on Earth (not every continent since going to Antarctica might be too much cost wise)
  • Photograph at least half of all the birds I see (even if all the photos aren't great, birder first, photographer second)
Also I am amused that you consider this overly ambitious at the age of 24, when I am 17 years your senior, and only have something like 800 more species than you on my life list :)

Honestly, going to Antarctica is probably cheaper than some of the tours to New Guinea I have seen, given that New Guinea is a must see visit destination for family listers.
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Also I am amused that you consider this overly ambitious at the age of 24, when I am 17 years your senior, and only have something like 800 more species than you on my life list :)

Honestly, going to Antarctica is probably cheaper than some of the tours to New Guinea I have seen, given that New Guinea is a must see visit destination for family listers.
Very true, but I also have countries and other spectacles/wildlife I want to see that in reality I don't really need to achieve those goals like making a trip to Mongolia or wanting to see Snow Leopards or a Whale Sharks in the wild, beautiful location and amazing wildlife, but definitely doesn't make it easier on the birding goals.

New Guinea is horribly expensive in the Papua side, however West Papua is surprisingly budget friendly, the catch is that most of the endemic families are very remote in West Papua and they tend to be easy in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. So it's a case of cheaper but more work (and more unique BoP) or spend more but get all those families (and about a dozen BoP). I know that if I got to Papua New Guinea, I'll bite the bullet and get an international tour company trip since the logistics for the country and the solo birder are not kind as opposed to other countries.
 

qwerty5

Well-known member
United States
I have one goal at the moment, to see all regularly occurring ABA area species in my lifetime. I'm obviously a long way from that goal with only 144 species. I would like to visit other countries, but I don't have any goals for that at present. I am more interested with North American birds and learning them well for now. I am fascinated with bird ID, so another, less definable goal is to learn to identify birds as well as possible, and to never stop learning.
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
I have one goal at the moment, to see all regularly occurring ABA area species in my lifetime. I'm obviously a long way from that goal with only 144 species. I would like to visit other countries, but I don't have any goals for that at present. I am more interested with North American birds and learning them well for now. I am fascinated with bird ID, so another, less definable goal is to learn to identify birds as well as possible, and to never stop learning.
Are you going by the ABA list or are you including all of the established introduced species?
 

Green Sandpiper

Well-known member
Scotland
Short term goal is to make White -tailed Eagle my 200th species during a wild camping weekend on Mull.

Longer- tailed goal is to treat myself to a bird safari, either Central America or Africa. 50th birthday is too soon, so am aiming for 60th in 2033. Hoping there's something left.
 

Owene

Well-known member
I’d like to see all the regular breeding, wintering or mass passage U.K. birds by the time I’m 50. I’m 47 now and have about 20 to see. Quail or corncrake. Probably quail will probably be the problem.
 

Lerxst

Well-known member
Great question and interesting answers.

I have one main goal: to identify at least 50% of all bird species, based on Clements, with a 1% margin for error. (I do not think it is possible to get over 5,000 birds without a few ID errors, hence the margin number...it will allow me to say with high confidence that I have seen the majority of the world's birds.)

Cornell's upcoming eBird revisions will get to 10,824. That puts 50% at 5,412. 1% of this is 54. So the target as of today is 5,466. I am at 4,498 right now, and expect to get a few armchair lifers when the eBird taxonomy rolls over in a few weeks. So just under 1,000 more to go. I estimate that if there had been no lockdowns, I'd have about 300 more than I currently do. We had a huge Northern Peru trip ready to go when the door slammed shut. My goal had been to be done with this all by 2022 or so... my clock is ticking, due to my eyesight not getting any better; I can only see in a narrow tunnel and eventually may lose even that.

After that I plan to curtail the world travel, because as much as I like being in new wonderful places with new birds, I despise the process of air travel very much and cannot wait to never experience the inside of a plane or airport again.

A seconday goal is to get over 1,000 species audio recorded and uploaded to Macauley, and to do an eBird list every day for the rest of my life. That way, all five of the statistics shown on the home eBird page (species, lists, photos, audio, consecutive days) will be >1,000. Already way past that with species, lists, and photos.
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Great question and interesting answers.

I have one main goal: to identify at least 50% of all bird species, based on Clements, with a 1% margin for error. (I do not think it is possible to get over 5,000 birds without a few ID errors, hence the margin number...it will allow me to say with high confidence that I have seen the majority of the world's birds.)

Cornell's upcoming eBird revisions will get to 10,824. That puts 50% at 5,412. 1% of this is 54. So the target as of today is 5,466. I am at 4,498 right now, and expect to get a few armchair lifers when the eBird taxonomy rolls over in a few weeks. So just under 1,000 more to go. I estimate that if there had been no lockdowns, I'd have about 300 more than I currently do. We had a huge Northern Peru trip ready to go when the door slammed shut. My goal had been to be done with this all by 2022 or so... my clock is ticking, due to my eyesight not getting any better; I can only see in a narrow tunnel and eventually may lose even that.

After that I plan to curtail the world travel, because as much as I like being in new wonderful places with new birds, I despise the process of air travel very much and cannot wait to never experience the inside of a plane or airport again.

A seconday goal is to get over 1,000 species audio recorded and uploaded to Macauley, and to do an eBird list every day for the rest of my life. That way, all five of the statistics shown on the home eBird page (species, lists, photos, audio, consecutive days) will be >1,000. Already way past that with species, lists, and photos.
What's the continent you've feel like it's the most underbirded for you? South America has the most species for sure, but reading some of your trip reports, I doubt that it's your least traveled region in the world.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
What's the continent you've feel like it's the most underbirded for you? South America has the most species for sure, but reading some of your trip reports, I doubt that it's your least traveled region in the world.
Definitely SA for me and I haven't even birded NA, saving that until I can do it from a car, with minimal walking!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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