the year in birds

January 5, 2006

in Me

Obligatory tally of 2005 birds:

  • Number of species seen: 513
  • New life birds: 201
  • Total life birds: 887
  • otal ABA-area birds: 568
  • Total state birds: 304
  • Total birds in my home city: 206
  • Total birds at my place of work: 183

What might be my first life bird of 2006?   Hmm, I’ll say West Indian Whistling-Duck.  Yep, headed for the West Indies in two weeks.  According to the National Weather Service, we’ve had only 14 minutes of sunshine here since mid-December.  I’m more than ready for sun and warmth!

Norene January 6, 2006 at 12:52 am

For the ignorant, could you explain "life bird" and "ABA-area" bird? I have no idea what those phrases mean!

That cinnamon woodpecker is a lovely sight…

Nuthatch January 6, 2006 at 7:34 am

"Life Birds," Noreen, are just that: all the species I have identified anywhere in the world in my lifetime. "ABA-Area" birds are those seen in North American north of Mexico (of which over 900 species are possible).

The ABA = the American Birding Association, an organization that (among other things) devises rules and maintains the bird lists of members who participate in the hobby of competitive bird listing. I used to be fairly keen on this, but no longer consider myself a "lister," or someone who takes adding species to my various lists seriously. I'm a compulsive list-maker in general, although my goal is usually to REMOVE things from lists, rather than ADD to them!

Some resources to those unfamiliar with the listing concept:
ABA home:

The Rules (if you wish to play by them):

The Lists (PDF):

Cindy January 6, 2006 at 8:37 am

your state and local list run pretty close to mine.. are we lucky or what to live in a state that has so many wonderful species.. from urban areas to the vast tracts of forest, there's no place else I'd rather be,, EXCEPT perhaps squirreled away in your luggage heading to West Indies. Maybe next year 😉
Here's to an even better year for birds- and those that cherish them.
your bud,

Norene January 6, 2006 at 10:26 am

I had no idea there was anything like competetive bird listing. I'm still not sure what the difference is between "Number of species seen" and "Total life birds," but now that I know where to look, I'll go digging for the answer. Thank you for taking the time to give me a little intro, Nuthatch.

TroutGrrrl January 6, 2006 at 2:47 pm

Wow, I'll never compare to your statistics. Definitely not without at least starting a list or two… Any tips for starting a list? Just go through a guide and check 'yep' or 'nope'?

Nuthatch January 6, 2006 at 3:27 pm

That's the easiest way to start for all the common stuff. Purists like to note the date and place of each sighting. And if you keep that data in a spreadsheet or database, you can easily sort your lists into not only, say, a U.S. list, but a state list, county list, yard list…you get the idea.

There is plenty of software designed just for the purpose. I use Avisys myself, but here's a compilation:

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