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Does anyone not keep a life list? (1 Viewer)

No. Merlin is an ID app created by the people at eBird; eBird is a free online citizen science database to which you can contribute your bird observations from anywhere in the world and also view the observation data from other birders. There is also a free eBird app, that will allow you to enter your observations from your smart phone. But you can also just enter them through the eBird website. eBird was started in 2002 and it's database now contains hundreds of millions of observations from birders around the world.

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Thanks so much for explaining
 
I used to keep a life list as a young birder, but stopped when the attractions of heavy metal music and females of my own species took precedence - the last time I updated it was in 1982, following a period of time spent in South Asia which had temporarily rekindled my interest. When I travelled I kept a notebook to varying standards - some good enough to populate eBird lists, others less precise.
Fast forward to the early 2010s when I started to get back into birding, I was initially proud to say I had no idea how many species I'd seen, other than I knew it was some way north of 500....then 'just for fun' I started on the slippery slope of keeping a year list, initially just for UK, which since 2016 or so has been in public view in all its inadequacies on this forum.
I still haven't got a definitive life list. I collated my disparate notebooks using Scythebill and arrived at a total, but this year have started going through this more critically and putting the results - where I have sufficient information on location and date - on eBird. I still need to finish this process (including some of my more recent Scythebill / Bird Forum records), then add in the 'life list builder' species which can't be localised with sufficient precision. I'm hoping to complete this process before November (it won't be perfect, since it also involves an IOC - Clements transition to fit with eBird), as I'm planning to head for the Neotropics again and with it a chance to pass my first 1000 by the end of the year.
So is this process a good or bad thing? I concur with a lot of the sentiments expressed upthread - it's a bad thing if it makes your birding too target-driven, potentially diminishing the pleasure of observing birds you've already seen that year / in that location / in your life. Something that should be a simple pleasure becomes a source of stress and disappointment. And I'm admitting this as someone who (almost) never twitches rarities, and has thus avoided the more extreme swings of emotion associated with that activity.
Overall though, I'm happy I've become a lister again - eBird is a great tool, and gives you the warm glow of feeling you're contributing, however insignificantly, to a global citizen science project. Before eBird I was always really resistant to multiple lists for different administrative regions (my British list didn't last beyond my first overseas birding trip, aged 15) - now they're generated automatically I've got separate, albeit incomplete British and Portuguese lists, and can drill down into the latter and track my increasingly wide spread of regions and local council areas. This is of course another crazy rabbit hole to go down, and unlike patch listing, of no practical value whatsoever - but it does feed that urge to collect which is part of the motivation for listing.
 
Good stuff, and for anyone over 50 say, we have something uniquely valuable in that we can add data onto ebird, travelling backwards in time!
No amount of birding in the coming weeks, months, years can ever match that!
 
My upthread comments regarding “Listing” out the pub exit were just that…tongue in cheek!
For me, priority listing is garden/patch and “finding”, the latter being the driver for all else.
For me, there’s absolutely no substitute for finding ye’r own….for which I’ve been very fortunate over the years.
I rarely ever visit “birdy spots” indeed I prefer casual birding grdn/local patch, City parks wherever on the planet I might be.
That way I have no real expectation, so when I bump into the unexpected, the adrenalin rush is everything.
All you need is patience and a belief, that you’ll eventually find something interesting.😊
 
My upthread comments regarding “Listing” out the pub exit were just that…tongue in cheek!
For me, priority listing is garden/patch and “finding”, the latter being the driver for all else.
For me, there’s absolutely no substitute for finding ye’r own….for which I’ve been very fortunate over the years.
I rarely ever visit “birdy spots” indeed I prefer casual birding grdn/local patch, City parks wherever on the planet I might be.
That way I have no real expectation, so when I bump into the unexpected, the adrenalin rush is everything.
All you need is patience and a belief, that you’ll eventually find something interesting.😊
I'm with you on the pleasures of urban park birding - seeing a male pied flycatcher in full breeding plumage in Kensington Gardens once was a memorable and unexpected highlight of a trip to London a few years ago, and more recently I enjoyed seeing multiple short-toed treecreepers in Paris botanical gardens.
I do think it's good to visit a full-fat birding hotspot once in a while though, particularly wetland sites, where you can immerse yourself in high diversity of species and large numbers of individuals.
 
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I love reading everyone's thoughts here, and I just wanna make it clear that I have nothing against listing, and I totally understand the fun of collecting something like bird sightings, in fact it's one of the biggest draws that first got me into bird watching! I just realized that for someone as competitive about things as myself, having a number attached to an activity like bird watching can start making me go a little crazy 😵‍💫
 
I don't really bother, haven't done for years. Last time I did check it was about 350 in Britain so nothing mind-blowing but not terrible. Seen some half decent ones back in the day though, like the Notts Redhead and Essex Red-throated Thrush.
 
I do have a list of sorts, but certainly not for any reason of oneupmanship. I think the UK element of the list is in the area of 210 species.

(This might be linked to why I find UK birding unrewarding...or vice versa).
 
I don't keep annual or life lists at all, and I do quite a bit of birding. It's not a philosophical choice, it's just laziness and too many other hobbies :) I do envy the people I often go out with on tours and their meticulous record-keeping.

It's fun because I often think I'm seeing a "lifer" and get excited and then realize I saw the same bird last year. There's really no way to know for sure. Mostly I just want to see as many cool birds as I can each time out. It's also exciting to see a bird on my property for the first time. I can usually remember what I've seen on my property from year to year.

And the rare or exceptional bird you tend to remember without a list. For example I saw a Summer Tanager in this area in May. I instantly knew I'd never seen one before, I'm well north of their usual range. But as we all know the global warming is moving all the southern birds to the north. I won't forget that I've seen that one, list or not.
 
I rarely ever visit “birdy spots” indeed I prefer casual birding grdn/local patch, City parks wherever on the planet I might be.
That way I have no real expectation, so when I bump into the unexpected, the adrenalin rush is everything.

I actually started seriously birding my local path this year, trying to get it from 93 unique species on up to 101 so that it could be a green checkmark on the eBird hotspot map (again motivated by numbers 😅). I succeeded with a Black-throated Blue Warbler being number 101, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience for exactly the reason you mention here, I had absolutely no expectations. This park doesn't get birded very much due to it being surrounded by a few loud subways and trains that run pretty often, but I thought the layout was actually really good for migrating birds, which ended up being correct!

I was basically going to the park blind everyday after work since there weren't any other birders going there who I could reference, so whenever something new showed up it was that much more exciting. Some of the highlights were the park's first Spotted Sandpiper, American Kestrel, and Northern Parula! While that was a lot of fun to do, it did start feeling a bit tedious keeping track of everything, and I started to regret not appreciating the passing migrants a little longer instead of adding them to the checklist and quickly moving on to chase more new patch birds and lifers.

I think next migration I'll be bird watching the local patch as an excuse to leave the house after work and not another job haha
 
Some of the urban parks in Boston and New York City are loaded with migrating birds...I'm almost jealous as I'm an hour outside the city and getting devoured by bugs and people are seeing more species in a tiny neighborhood park in Boston right next to their condo
 
I’ve birded New York in Central/Prospect and Bryant Parks and all planters in between, during early May and the return in Warblers and Thrushes has been outstanding, particularly during high pressure periods.👍
 
There are two versions of caring about your life list.

There is the aim of seeing a lifer as the purpose of each outing - which is where I'm at. I rarely go birding without that purpose. In fact I twitch far more than I bird.

Then there is obsession with the precise number and a zeal to maximise that number, perhaps in competition with other people. That doesn't interest me as much.
 
World bird list nope absolutely no idea even to the nearest thousand. I do mark in the field guides which birds I have seen though. I could easily work out my UK list and vaguely kept it up until I hit 500 but then lost all real interest. Mammals sort of but I couldn't tell you what is was without looking at the relevant spreadsheet.
 
World bird list nope absolutely no idea even to the nearest thousand. I do mark in the field guides which birds I have seen though. I could easily work out my UK list and vaguely kept it up until I hit 500 but then lost all real interest. Mammals sort of but I couldn't tell you what is was without looking at the relevant spreadsheet.
Only tenuously linked to Life lists, and I am a broken record here, but:

Thought for the day, "what is more valuable: 1 million sightings in the head of 1 person, or 1 sighting visible to 1 million people?

Get them on ebird;)
 
There are two versions of caring about your life list.

There is the aim of seeing a lifer as the purpose of each outing - which is where I'm at. I rarely go birding without that purpose. In fact I twitch far more than I bird.

Then there is obsession with the precise number and a zeal to maximise that number, perhaps in competition with other people. That doesn't interest me as much.
You're a twitcher then, some will say birder and twitcher are synonyms, others not and look down upon twitchers for various reasons, especially if a person does little or no, birding outside of twitching.
 

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