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Bird Watching: Why keep a list?

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Fauther
Mcallen, TX

May 19, 2012
2:11 PM

Post #9129762

From reading posts about life lists and year lists, I get it. It's personal, right? Or is there a non-ego building reason? There HAS to be! I hear about people trying to catch up to other people, about being obsessive about the numbers...about bragging rights. Long ago I started to keep a list and almost got caught up in it for the wrong reasons. I keep a list and no one knows about it. I will, however, share sightings, and information. Bird counts are a must. Personal records...hmmm...personal.

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Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 19, 2012
3:53 PM

Post #9129836

For us listing keeps birding fun. The old is new again, in a way. We keep life, year, and yard lists. We started a year list this year to see how we compared to last year because that is when we officially began birding as a hobby. "Will we see the same ones again?"

Our favorite list is the yard list because its home. When we have only seen certain birds at a location miles away, but then some time later they fly over our yard, we are just absolutely floored. I take part in this forum's year list thread because I rejoice in every new year bird we see and am happy for others when they see new for the year, or for all time.

I am sure there is much competition with numbers and listing, but I haven't noticed it at Dave's Garden.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 19, 2012
4:21 PM

Post #9129857

Ditto to Chillybean.

For me the main 'competitive' aspect is not against other people, but against my own yearlists from previous years - it stimulates putting in the effort to see as many species as you can each year. And that helps keep identification skills in good training. If you don't go out of your way to see some birds, it might be many years between sightings and you risk forgetting what they look like and sound like.

Resin
Fauther
Mcallen, TX

May 20, 2012
4:50 AM

Post #9130253

Thanks Resin and Chillybean, you two have accurately described MY reason for keeping a list. I track the comings and goings of our yard birds and the ones I see at local refuges. Thanks again.
good birding!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9131093

My reasons are much like Chilly's. I love seeing what new birds I can spy in my yard each year. And I hope that all my efforts in the garden keep those numbers increasing. It's also interesting to observe the weather patterns and how they affect spring migration. This year I had more warblers, but missed some of the other Neotropical migrants that I had come to count on (hahaha) each spring! I'm not too good in the field, too impatient, don't know my birdcalls. I don't feel any competitive urge in this, but since this is the first year i actually am counting, I'm anxious to see what numbers I come up with.


I also maintain a yard and life butterfly list for much the same reasons.

Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2012
6:43 AM

Post #9131652

[quote="Mrs_Ed"] I'm not too good in the field, too impatient, don't know my birdcalls. I don't feel any competitive urge in this, but since this is the first year i actually am counting, I'm anxious to see what numbers I come up with.

[/quote]

Maybe that's why I don't feel a competitive urge, I am horrible in the field. It is terrible, because I will hear a bird I am familiar with at home, but with the different point of reference (

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2012
7:16 AM

Post #9131696

…and if I can't get a photograph of it, I don't feel as if I can really add it to my list. I had a number of birds in the area a couple weeks ago that I could not spot, but I knew were "new". Grrrrr.

Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2012
10:32 AM

Post #9132015

Oh, not sure how I did that. My sentence was cut off. I don't exactly remember what I said, though.

Yep, I had several unknowns recently, but that's ok. There will always be more. Even though I don't have a wish list of specific birds, I was happy to be able to see three more warblers and a couple more Plovers this spring.

I too rely on photos- one reason is I don't like carrying the field guide around, so I take a photo and go through the guides when I am at home or in the van. We finally bought a guide strictly for the van and just keep it there for use in our mobile bird blind.

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