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Kerri

Life Lists

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I wasn't sure if this topic was okay to post here? I am wanting to create a birding "life list" and was curious how some of you have done this for yourselves. Do you use a word document or hand written list? Do you mark the dates seen in a field guide? In recent years I have been using e-bird but this wouldn't capture the birds I have seen earlier in my life. Should I count these? Is there an official checklist of some sort?  Also, some people have yard lists and life lists - do you? I would appreciate your thoughts and experience with this :) Thanks very much.

Edited by Kerri
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We do almost all of the above.  We write down all our lists in Word and we also have a hand-written yard list hanging on the fridge.  On eBird we used to have a "baseline life list" for our old sightings (I would show you how to make one, but I can't get to the eBird help center questions anymore 😐), but we eventually saw and eBirded all the species we saw years ago, so we could delete that checklist.

Our yard list is important to me because the yard is where and why I started birding and writing down the species I see.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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I use eBird for:

  • Life List
  • County Life List
  • Yard List - you can designate a location as your yard
  • Multiple Patch lists - townships, 5MR.  

I also have two separate Excel files.

  • One file is from my eBird data that I can use to do some personal analysis including by location
  • The other file I am able to use surround county data to do some target birding, similar to Target Species on eBird.  This file also tracks all historical records for the county that I find, along with some information related to Big Day/Month/Year targets.  

 

You can enter historical records in eBird.  https://support.ebird.org/support/solutions/articles/48000804866-enter-your-pre-ebird-life-list

 

 

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I try to keep track of yearlists through the year on a notepad that I keep in my pocket but it always ends up forgotten by May :classic_laugh: . At the moment I'm just kind of ignoring my past sightings and trusting my eBird yearlists since I've been using it more. If I really want to know, however, I'll just take the ABA bird list and write out all the ones I've seen for life, year, yard, or "patch"... but the list ends up getting thrown away randomly later, so I guess I could say I don't really list that much. I do like to know roughly where I'm at though. I have used word documents in the past, but I find them bulky and hard to keep track of. I did recently get the sibley book that lets you keep track of "first seen" dates, and I've been pretty faithful with that. Would highly recommend it: Sibley Lifelist Book

I'm extremely proud of my yard, to a fault, so yes I keep yardlists :classic_laugh: . I think it's important because even though travelling is fun, there's something special about seeing something right at home (like the GGOW that randomly showed up at my back door on this Thanksgiving). 

Edited by Melierax
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This is an interesting topic.  I appreciate seeing what others do.

I have a spreadsheet with all the birds ever seen in my state, in five columns from common to very rare.  I keep separate annual sheets for each of the counties I normally bird in (we aim to get 150 species in each county here in this state).  I also keep a lifetime sheet for the state.  I mark the ones I've seen so that I can develop target lists.  There is also a separate (lifetime) sheet for species for which I have submitted photos and/or audio on eBird, and another sheet for lifetime NA species.

I'm going to create another sheet to keep track of species spotted in the town where I live.  I need to build a patch on eBird for all the locations in the town to get sightings data to feed the sheet.

I tend to use 'needs' lists from eBird to see what others are spotting in each county and the state, but the spreadsheets are handy for target lists.

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