Bird Word: Life List

  • Life list: a list of birds a birder has seen in their life time. Many also keep year lists, month lists, week lists or day lists. Other lists include place lists, state lists, country lists, lists of birds seen on television, in movies, from their office window – in fact, this listing is limited only by the birder’s imagination, time available and interests (and level of sanity).

I am a self confessed list maker.

It is one of the reasons birding appeals to me. I keep lists. All kinds of lists. Here is a list of lists I keep:

  • A list of all the birds I’ve ever seen (my “Life List”).
  • A list of all the birds I’ve seen in each state of Australia.
  • A list of birds I’ve seen in Australia, Thailand and Nepal (that counts as 3 lists!)
  • A list of places I’ve been birding (its’ a long list).
  • A list of books I have read over the last 40 years (it’s a very long list).
  • A list of things I have done this year – and last year – and the one before that…
  • A list of things to do today.
  • A list of articles, poems and stories I’ve had published (it’s a growing list).
  • A list of books and stories I’ve written that I want to send to publishers (it’s a list that should be getting shorter [sigh]).
  • A list of the titles of blog articles I’ve published and the dates published (that’s 3 lists because I run 3 blogs)
  • A list a potential articles to write for my 3 blogs (another 3 lists).
  • A list of…

Actually – I think you get the picture, and it’s not a pretty one!

And then, in the mid 1990s I bought a birding data-base to record all my bird records. This was heaven! Now I can generate all kinds of lists at the touch of a few keys strokes. Wonderful.

What kinds of lists do you keep? Tell me in the comments section.


9 Responses to “Bird Word: Life List”

  1. […] birders keep a life list of all the birds they have ever seen. Some of these can number in the thousands because there are […]

  2. […] when I go to Queensland I am sure I will have no trouble adding some 50 or more lifers to my life list. This is because I’ve never been there and there are quite a few birds best seen there (or […]

  3. […] A list of birds seen in my lifetime ( a life list). […]

  4. dev says:

    hallo iam dev ahir from india ilove all bird and i itrest to bird working

  5. Trevor says:

    Hi there Dev. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. One day I would like to visit India and see your beautiful birds. Three years ago I went to Nepal and saw plenty of great birds there.

  6. […] the introduced Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Unfortunately this does not qualify as an additional to my Life List because I had previously seen these sparrows near the River Kwai in Thailand. Never mind – it was a […]

  7. robert ballis says:

    Hi there, Have one long list which as follows;

    Between four + five thousand spieces of birds on dvds

    Regards Rob.

  8. Trevor says:

    Hi Rob,

    LOL – good one!

    Seriously though – you are not alone – many birders do keep lists of birds seen on TV, in films and on television. While I don’t keep such a list myself, I am always alert to sightings of birds during sporting events.

    You must have quite an extensive collection of DVDs to have that many birds shown on them. I guess series like David Attenborough does would add considerably to any list.

  9. […] = bird species seen for the very first time and so eligible to go on one’s “life list“. ) Yellow-billed Kite, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tags: Addis Ababa, Birds of prey, Black Kite, […]

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