The Life List

To any serious birder or lister, the Life List is the be-all-end-all of his or her existence.  Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but the number the Life List represents is still very important.  Adding a new species brings with it a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and of a job well-done.  Taking a species off the List is a double-edged sword: one edge for seeing the number go down, and the other edge for having made the error in identification in the first place.

The List is shown in the order that the species were added.  The first sixteen species, so common that I felt I was always “aware” of them even before I began keeping track of my sightings, are given the year when I officially began keeping my list.

I’ve struggled to put into words the root cause of the desire to see and catalog nature this way, but only got as far as, “well, it’s difficult to explain…uh, how much time do you have?”

So I will let the number speak for itself.  I’ve divided the list in groupings of 100 species, both for appearance and ease of browsing.  Please use the links in the side menu to navigate the Life List.

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One thought on “The Life List

  1. I didn’t realize this, but we started keeping life lists the same year – 2006! A lot of my common birds have question marks or the year for a date, since I don’t know when I saw my first Canada Goose, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow, etc. My first “dated” bird was Pileated Woodpecker in March 2006.

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