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Bird Watching Life Lists - Keeping A Record
By Rick Chapo, Fri Dec 9th

If you’re a birder, you want to keep a list of sightings whenyou bird watch. Your life lists should be kept in a birdwatching journal.

Life List

A life list is a record of the species of birds you’ve sightedover time. Typically, the list is kept in a journal. Each entrynotes the bird species, the date, location and any notes youwant to add. Depending on your particular bird watchingexploits, you can keep one global list or separate lists as yousee fit.


For many bird watchers, one life list simply isn’t enough. So,how can you break down your lists? Here are a few ideas:

1. House Lists – A list of birds sighted around your home.

2. Yearly Lists – A list for each year you bird watch.

3. State Lists – A list for sighting by particular state.

4. Trip Lists – Journals for particular vacationsor tours.

5. Wish Lists – A list of birds you haven’t seen, but hope to.You simply cross them off as sightings occur.

Computer Life Lists

You can purchase computer life list programs or use onlinevariations. Each program is different, but most come in achecklist format. You enter information and the program spitsout your list.

The problem with using computer programs is…well, the computeraspect. Unless you are willing to lug a laptop around with you,there is going to be a delay between sightings and your journalentries. Using a computer program is also troublesome if youwant to keep a collection of sketches of particular speciesyou’ve identified. For most birders, a computer list is asupplement to a good journal, not a replacement.

Bird watching is an extremely personal passion. If you’re juststarting, you may



think you don’t need to keep a life list. Theproblem with this approach, of course, is you will regret thedecision if you later decide to do so. All those sightings willbe gone with time…

If you’re going to start bird watching, make sure you keep alife list journal from the outset. As I like to say, “Preservethe experience!”

About the author:Rick Chapo is with NomadJournals - Makers of journals. Read more birdwatching articles at NomadJournalTrips.com.

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