How to be a Birder part 7

Hint # 7 Write down what you see

Don’t trust your memory. It is very important to write down in a notebook what you have seen. For most birders this is merely a list of the different species seen. In addition to that, I also record the date, the place I saw the bird, the time and the latitude and longitude coordinates (more on that in another posting: Hint #15).

If you have seen something unusual, say a bird you’ve never seen before, a rare bird or a bird way out of its normal range, it is very important to take detailed notes of your observation, including a sketch if necessary. This will help authenticate your sighting if anyone questions it, especially if reported to a bird organisation as a rarity.

When I was recording sightings for the Atlas of Australian birds I submitted several entries that were later questioned. The bird I recorded was out of its range and I didn’t realise it at the time and I took no notes. I was therefore unable to prove my sightings and they were rejected. You may consider this a burden or unnecessary. That’s fine if you want your hobby to be casual and relaxing. Just hope that you never see a really rare bird, say like the first ever occurrence of a species in your country!

For more hints on how to be a birder click here. 

Silver Gull

Silver Gull


2 Responses to “How to be a Birder part 7”

  1. […] I go out birding I usually make a list of the different species of birds I observe or hear. I also record the number of each species seen […]

  2. Cosette says:

    I’m new to birdwatching and I came across your blog. I’m enjoying this handy series. When it comes to documenting your sights for something extra special, such as the sighting of a rare bird, what kind of details should you jot down? For instance, I usually just note the date, time, location, and take a photo if possible. If I know a little more about the bird, I might note that the sex or that it’s a juvenile, etc. Funny enough, I tend to be more detailed (e.g. color, what’s it doing, etc.) if I don’t know the bird because those details will help me identify it later. What else should I be paying attention to?

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