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How do you keep a life list??


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I am wondering how you keep your life list. I know ebird does it for you and will do it by state, and county as well, but do you also write it down?

I write down my overall life list for the world, but all other lists, I let Ebird do that.

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I am wondering how you keep your life list. I know ebird does it for you and will do it by state, and county as well, but do you also write it down?

I write down my overall life list for the world, but all other lists, I let Ebird do that.

 I keep a United States list on Thayer's Birding Software. But the rest is up to eBird.

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eBird for my life list. I also use the notes app to write down my subspecies reported, domestic/escapee, morphs, and otherwise weird birds. That mallard I had today is going on there!

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eBird as well, but way before that my Birds of Alberta book had a checklist at the back where I’d check off ones I’ve seen. Have a few checked off in there that I haven’t been able to add to eBird yet!

I also last year printed off an avibase checklist for my area to keep track of if I’ve seen it in my county, seen it somewhere else, and if I have photographed it. Looks like this:

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Which greatly needs updating! Forgot about it until now. The goal is to check off every bird species, but doesn’t matter if I’ve actually seen it here. 
 

Also, a long time ago, when I would go on vacations outside of Alberta, I’d create checklists myself and keep tally’s beside photos. This one is when I went to Mexico when I was 10. 

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Luckily I also had a camera at that time so most of these have been added to eBird. I think that was my first checklist I ever did, without even realizing it. 
 

It’s sad that my writing hasn’t improved 

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I keep mine in a few different places.

 - eBird, obviously.

 - Sibley Life List and Field Diary. I like this because I can write notes in it that I may not otherwise add to the comments section of an eBird checklist. More personal notes about the sighting or more importantly, the people I was with and maybe additional notes about the trip I was on. I also still have a very old Peterson that was my first field guide and I like to use the checklist in the back, more for sentimental reasons than anything else.

- Google Sheets. I do this primarily because I like to have it somewhere else in addition to eBird and i can change it fairly easily, especially as taxonomy changes (binomial names, splits/lumps, reorganization of taxa, etc.)

*I have yet to bird outside the ABA area, so I'm not sure how I would handle that list aside from eBird.

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I've moved from checkmarks in the back of field guides, to spreadsheet, to the Birder's Diary application.  But around '16 or so, I moved everything to eBird and haven't looked back.  One North American life list; that's it.  Anything else strikes me as too much work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I started out not using ebird at all, so I just wrote down my list. But when I fell in love with ebird, I realized that ebird showed my list at 157, but my list written down had 158, so I did an incidental list for the one species I hadn’t reported to ebird, and bingo! My life list is now taken and kept on Ebird!

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On 3/2/2021 at 10:08 AM, IKLland said:

So I started out not using ebird at all, so I just wrote down my list. But when I fell in love with ebird, I realized that ebird showed my list at 157, but my list written down had 158, so I did an incidental list for the one species I hadn’t reported to ebird, and bingo! My life list is now taken and kept on Ebird!

Lucky. :classic_unsure:

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2 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Lucky. :classic_unsure:

What I meant is that I can’t keep my real life list on eBird, because there are a lot of species that I’ve seen, just never reported.

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1 hour ago, Seanbirds said:

What I meant is that I can’t keep my real life list on eBird, because there are a lot of species that I’ve seen, just never reported.

Understood. If you know the date and location,  and have a picture or remember to the details, you could do a historical checklist. 

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32 minutes ago, Avery said:

Understood. If you know the date and location,  and have a picture or remember to the details, you could do a historical checklist. 

You don't even need a date to do an Historical.  If you don't know the date, you can enter Jan 1, 1900.  eBird reserves that date for entries with no known date.

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On 3/9/2021 at 5:20 PM, Avery said:

Understood. If you know the date and location,  and have a picture or remember to the details, you could do a historical checklist. 

I’ve done that several times.

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19 hours ago, Aaron said:

Or you could just wait until you find the bird again, which I think makes it more fun/rewarding. 

That’s what spring migration is for! :classic_biggrin: Yes, I want to do that too.

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