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For a few years as a beginning birder I had never heard of a life list or ebird...I eventually learned of both and created a life list. I still didn't use ebird. I saw other birders whom I thought were over the top with their different lists: Life, State, County, Backyard. Eventually, my resistance faded and I started ebirding more often but not always. And I became more and more of a list watcher. Then ebird started showing how many bird species you have photographed and shared and oh how my resistance failed me here. I always have my camera while out birding and often even if I'm not. This was true before ebird started showing how many species you have photographed.  A while back I endeavored to up my photographed species by going back through old photos and creating historical ebird lists using my photographs to determine location if possible and to create incomplete lists. Right now I stand at 418 species photographed and shared with ebird, out 461 on my life list. I know I have a few more I could add. For example, somewhere in all my 1000s of photos I have Calliope Hummingbird photos. I haven't been able to find them. This is my problem and I am slowly trying to organize my photos better. The other problem is I'm not sure what other species I'm missing. Is there a way I haven't found to determine which species I have photographed or have not photographed so I can which I still need to add? Yes I have done the contributor and species function in Explore/Search photos and sound in ebird. I came up with several this way but I have hit a brick wall on how to determine what other species I'm missing. Any suggestions? And how list obsessed are you? Which list are you most obsessed with? Does your ranking in your County matter to you? What about surrounding Counties? My only goal list wise is to make it into the Top 100 all time for Florida. I'm in no hurry though just want to get there before I die or can no longer physically get out there. I want far enough in I will stay there for while. When I left Colorado I was in the top 100 but was out in less than a year after moving to Florida.

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I have not become obsessed with county birding yet, as there are still birds I need to get for my life list. Once I get that, I don't know. There is a birder in VT that I have become friends with that last year managed to find over 200 species in Washington County. His original goal was 150 in a year. Somehow he destroyed that before May. Some of the best ones he had were Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, and Long-eared Owl. This year, he has an even more ambitious goal. There are few birders in VT who have managed to find 150 species in every county over time. He's trying to do it in a year. That's on the extreme side of county birding. For me, I just like to go out and find lifers, or if there aren't any around, just seeing birds I like.

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If you got to Target Species there is an option for species photographed.  Should give you a list for the area chosen that you don’t have a photo in eBird for.  

Example you can go to ABA area and click on Target Species.

 

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Edited by chipperatl
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Sorry you can’t use ABA, but you can use Country.  
 

I have a bunch of lists I track.  Mainly county though.  I’ve not done much state wise (20 birds more than my county list).  I like finding/seeing new stuff in the county and pushing our county up the list of counties in Michigan.  Last year I did a Big Yard so I kept an eye on my position in the state for yard lists.  

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19 minutes ago, chipperatl said:

Sorry you can’t use ABA, but you can use Country.  
 

I have a bunch of lists I track.  Mainly county though.  I’ve not done much state wise (20 birds more than my county list).  I like finding/seeing new stuff in the county and pushing our county up the list of counties in Michigan.  Last year I did a Big Yard so I kept an eye on my position in the state for yard lists.  

One of the things I love about birding is you can tailor the hobby to budget, willingness or ability to travel outside your yard, county, state or country. Is there a reason you don't go outside your county much? Yard bird totals are very cool. In Colorado mine was dismal compared to here in Florida. I don't keep close track of my yard totals but I'm over 90 for our yard in Florida.

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I also mostly stay around my county (I don't get my drivers license for a year, so it's hard to travel further), and I pay attention to the lists. I don't think I'll become one of the big California county birders, but I'll travel if something good shows up out of town.

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Since I started taking birding at least halfway seriously (2013 or so), I've kept one life list.  Transitioning from marks in a field guide going back to 1968, to an Excel spreadsheet (circa 2010), to a standalone PC application (2013?), to eBird (2016?) hasn't made any difference - one life list.

Everything else strikes me as too much trouble.  This is my relaxation.  I am trying to add photos of birds I don't already have shots of, but I'm not trying very hard.  I'm not actively pursuing them as much as shooting them if the opportunity arises.

As @Clipsaid, it's a flexible activity with plenty of room for individual variation.

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On the species profiles, there’s also little badges that tell you if you’ve seen it, photographed it, have an audio recording, and if you’ve seen it in the current year

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I don’t really care about county lists either. More just interested in seeing birds I haven’t seen before, or making hotspots reach milestone numbers so they change colour. Last year I was 8th in one county, and 200 or something ridiculous for the county I live in. So.... 

Though I do like filling up the counties and making them red. Makes you seem accomplished. I know when I look at other people’s profiles and all the counties are coloured in it makes me say ‘damn.’ I am trying to see more birds in my county however, as it doesn’t seem right that I’ve seen less birds where I live compared to somewhere where I’m only there a couple weeks out of the year. 

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I printed the ABA checklist and ticked off the birds I knew I had ID'd just to see what kind of count I might have in comparison to others that were talking about their life list numbers. I can't be certain of the number at the time, I think it was 172 but I didn't write it down or keep the checklist so I can't be certain. I did this once, and only once, and that was close to 10 years ago. I have no interest in using eBird to document a list for me. My interest in birds is in watching them, not counting them or listing them. I guess I am what most birders would call a bird watcher, which is a title that accurately describes how I enjoy the birds. To me, lists add a competitiveness to birding that takes away from my enjoyment. Just my spin, which I have said before, isn't always the popular view. 

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17 hours ago, IKLland said:

I as still a new birder, have obviously a low county list( and list) but I am interested in county birding and other lists.

Welcome to the wonderful hobby of birding. In some ways I envy you as life birds come pretty easy in the beginning. As your list grows it gets harder and harder. 

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On 2/11/2021 at 10:01 AM, Avery said:

I have not become obsessed with county birding yet, as there are still birds I need to get for my life list. Once I get that, I don't know. There is a birder in VT that I have become friends with that last year managed to find over 200 species in Washington County. His original goal was 150 in a year. Somehow he destroyed that before May. Some of the best ones he had were Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, and Long-eared Owl. This year, he has an even more ambitious goal. There are few birders in VT who have managed to find 150 species in every county over time. He's trying to do it in a year. That's on the extreme side of county birding. For me, I just like to go out and find lifers, or if there aren't any around, just seeing birds I like.

Yes your friend is very ambitious! If he has the time it can probably be done. VT is a small State making his goal more achievable.

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On 2/11/2021 at 12:44 PM, Bird Brain said:

I only keep 2 lists: 

A life list of birds I've seen and positively IDed, and a list of ex-wives. I strive to replicate neither........

Could I maybe get a copy of that second list?  Just for a friend, you understand ...

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On 2/11/2021 at 12:28 PM, Aaron said:

I know when I look at other people’s profiles and all the counties are coloured in it makes me say ‘damn.’

I just shrug and assume they've been birding longer, and have more available time and money for traveling.

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On 2/11/2021 at 11:28 AM, Aaron said:

 

Though I do like filling up the counties and making them red. Makes you seem accomplished. I know when I look at other people’s profiles and all the counties are coloured in it makes me say ‘damn.’ 

Look at mine! :classic_laugh: You’ll only see the US colored in!

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19 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

Who, like @Connor Cochrane:classic_tongue:

Beats me; does CC have a higher count than I do?  I also don't know where I rate in county or state; I've never had a reason to find out.

I enjoy adding a new bird to my life list, but not enough to actively pursue one.

It's just a question of what each birder wants from the hobby.

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On 2/11/2021 at 5:35 AM, Clip said:

Which list are you most obsessed with?

Yard and county. As for the county I am in second for species for all time and year for my county.

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As for my yard I really like adding to it's list, it is at 160 right now and I'm hoping to get it to 170 this year...

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