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How Many Genera Have You Seen? (1 Viewer)

Nightjar61

David Daniels
United States
Last year on a birding trip, I met a birder who was almost as excited about adding a new genus to his list as he was about seeing a life bird. His dedication and excitement about seeing a new genus made me curious about how many genera I have seen. It took a while, but I made a list of all the genera I have seen. Although I am not by any means a serious genus lister, it is now one of the many lists I keep.

I just returned from Texas where I added two new genera to my list. I’m now at 999. The IOC’s homepage indicates that their master list contains 2,353 genera. Therefore, I have seen 42% of the world’s genera .

How about you? How many genera have you seen?

Dave
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Recently read Birding on Borrowed Time; Phoebe Snetsinger was very much into seeing new genera, and kept a list - she noted Bay-vented Cotinga (Doliornis) was her 2000th genus, seen in Peru in June 1999, a few months before she was killed in Madagascar. She wrote that she only had 9 more to see to get down to her final 100, as the total then was just over 2,100.
As my total life list hasn't yet reached 999 species, I'm playing no further part in any comparative genus counts :rolleyes:
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Last year on a birding trip, I met a birder who was almost as excited about adding a new genus to his list as he was about seeing a life bird. His dedication and excitement about seeing a new genus made me curious about how many genera I have seen. It took a while, but I made a list of all the genera I have seen. Although I am not by any means a serious genus lister, it is now one of the many lists I keep.

I just returned from Texas where I added two new genera to my list. I’m now at 999. The IOC’s homepage indicates that their master list contains 2,353 genera. Therefore, I have seen 42% of the world’s genera .

How about you? How many genera have you seen?

Dave
Would be a nice function to add to Scythebill, to automatically be able to total your genera.
 

Welsh Peregrine

Well-known member
I have never counted up genera, as there is no real definition of what a genus is! Once upon a time I had seen Parus, Larus and Anas; how many genera are needed to cover all of these nowadays?
 

Lerxst

Well-known member
No way to get this easily out of eBird. I'll either have to parse my list manually, or write some Python code to do it. Hmmm. Not obvious which one will be less work.

Thanks for adding to my day's to-do list. :)
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I have never counted up genera, as there is no real definition of what a genus is! Once upon a time I had seen Parus, Larus and Anas; how many genera are needed to cover all of these nowadays?
Isn't it a simple matter of taking the first part of the scientific name, Bubo, Otus, Strix etc?
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
539 by my count...actually more than I expected given that number of species I have from diverse genera like Larus, Anas, Calidris, etc.
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Took me a while. I'm at 1557.

FYI, I keep my life list in a spreadsheet. I simply added a new column, put an X in the column for every new genus, and let the spreadsheet count them. Took me a little over an hour.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Took me a while. I'm at 1557.

FYI, I keep my life list in a spreadsheet. I simply added a new column, put an X in the column for every new genus, and let the spreadsheet count them. Took me a little over an hour.
This is what I do but instead of an X, I give each item a value of 1 and use autosum.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
It's very easy to calculate quickly if you have an excel sheet with binomial names.

1. Copy your list of binomial or trinomial names into a new sheet
2. Type Control+H to bring up the "Find and Replace" window
3. In the "find" field, type " *" (note the space before the star!). Leave the "replace" field blank
4. Click "replace all". This will clear anything after a 'space' in each cell.
5. Highlight the column and go to the Data tab and click "remove duplicates". On my version of Excel, it is next to 'Text to columns' button and looks like 3 horizonal cells in blue and white with a red cross.
6. Click ok and you're done

I'm on 967 genera.
 

sandee

Daan Sandee
Clements 2019 has 2257 extant genera of which I have seen 1802 (80%.) But it's an awful long tine since I added to that number. My program also tells me that I have wiped 919 genera, or about half.

Daan Sandee
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
It's very easy to calculate quickly if you have an excel sheet with binomial names.

1. Copy your list of binomial or trinomial names into a new sheet
2. Type Control+H to bring up the "Find and Replace" window
3. In the "find" field, type " *" (note the space before the star!). Leave the "replace" field blank
4. Click "replace all". This will clear anything after a 'space' in each cell.
5. Highlight the column and go to the Data tab and click "remove duplicates". On my version of Excel, it is next to 'Text to columns' button and looks like 3 horizonal cells in blue and white with a red cross.
6. Click ok and you're done

I'm on 967 genera.
Doesn't work on my Libra sheet sadly, returns 'search key not found'.

Edit: 1107 for me
 
Last edited:

Lerxst

Well-known member
How did you get there so quickly?
Thirty years of birding. Oh you meant the calculation? :)

In Libre Office:

1. Copy and paste eBird life list into spreadsheet. This all ends up in a single column and needs to be massaged to make it usable. Ugh.
2. Remove all columns except for genera and then sort alphabetically. This is column A
3. Add a new column with formula to check if adjacent cells are the same (i.e., B1 = EXACT(A1,A2))
4. Sort on B. You will see all FALSE as you scroll down, and eventually the first TRUE - call that row x. The number of distinct genera in the list is x-1.

This is why I don't like excel-like spreadsheets. All this manual futzing around - almost as bad as the legwork you have to do to make a histogram or run a model. At my work for the last 21 years, I always used JMP, a statistically saavy spreadsheet-like program made by SAS. You could get the # genera in this example, along with histograms and lots of other statistical measures, with the click of a single button. As it should be. But alas I am retired now and the JMP software is too crazy expensive.

If I really need to parse some complex data set or lists, I usually just write Python code. I probably could have done the genera calculation with fewer total keystrokes in that way, but I was not in a coding mood yesterday.
 

Lerxst

Well-known member
Clements 2019 has 2257 extant genera of which I have seen 1802 (80%.) But it's an awful long tine since I added to that number. My program also tells me that I have wiped 919 genera, or about half.

Daan Sandee
"wiped" =?
 

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