How to be a Birder part 8

Hint # 8 Recording Your Bird Sightings

Writing down lists of what you see in the field can lead to more detailed records for your own pleasure. I’m really into lists; it’s an obsessive compulsive thing that my wife tolerates with some amusement.

Birding can lend itself to the following lists:

  • A Life List: the total list of birds you have ever seen
  • A Year List: a list of birds seen this year (or any other year)
  • A Month List: birds seen this month (and every other month of the year)
  • A Week List: birds seen this week.
  • A Day List: birds seen today.
  • A Home List: birds seen around your home and garden.
  • A District List: those birds seen within a certain distance from home (eg 5 kilometres radius)
  • A State List: birds seen in your home state or territory.
  • A Country List: all the birds you’ve seen in your home country (and for every other country you have ever visited or lived in)
  • A Television Bird List: a list of birds seen on television programmes
  • A Film Bird List: ditto – but on films.
  • An Office Window List: birds seen from your office window.
  • A Train/Bus Bird List: birds seen from the train or bus while on the way to work.
  • A Holiday List: birds seen while on a holiday.
  • A Porch List: birds seen while sitting on your front (or back) porch.
  • A Church Bird List: this may seem bizarre but I have actually made a list of birds seen while sitting in church! Go figure.

All this does is illustrate how flexible this hobby called birding really is; you make it your hobby and pursue it your way, with what interests you. Of course, you may hate making lists, so don’t go down that path at all. Just enjoy the birds.

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

If you have any hints of your own, things that help you in your birding, add them in the comments section below.

Zebra Finch

Zebra Finch


2 Responses to “How to be a Birder part 8”

  1. Darren says:

    Hi there,

    I am fairly knew to bird watching here in Australia, I am unsure of the best way to record my sightings. I was wondering if you have a sample form you could send me on what you do or a full spacies list (including migratory waders) that I could construct my own with.

    Regards Darren

  2. Trevor says:

    Hi there Darren, welcome to my birding blog. Birding is a wonderful interest to have but don’t be overwhelmed by all there is to learn. Take it slowly, read, study, go out birding and do not be afraid to ask questions. Every one has to start somewhere.

    I will answer some of your questions here and also email you more information. Possibly a very good place to start is the Birds Australia site here:

    Use the drop down “Quick Menu” and go to the “checklist” page. This will give you a list of all Australian birds – well, as near to a complete list as you can. You see, new birds are being added from time to time as some individuals come here by accident from other countries – but don’t worry too much about them.

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