Hi! Do you know if there is a standard life list format? The check marks in my field guide aren’t exactly rigorous documentation. I’m willing to “start over” for the sake of better data. Also, in regard to your comment about how birding varies by location, I live on the West Coast so I’ve never seen a blue jay or a cardinal! I would be stoked to find someone else’s “boring” feeder birds.

I’m gonna toss this question to​ @woodthrush @cuckoo-ca-choo @awkwardtypo or another proper birder. I am personally a terrible birder, but I’ll offer my answer in any case:

Your life list is what you want it to be. There are some “rules” set out by various birding organizations, but nobody can tell you how to document what you have and haven’t seen! Your life list doesn’t have to be a rigorous and meticulous data sheet, but it also can be if you want it to! You can start it over at any time, or you can keep consecutive year lists in addition to a life list.

The only one rule I subscribe to is this: the life list documents all species you have seen since beginning the act of listing. So, even though I grew up seeing scarlet ibis and roseate spoonbills weekly during my Texas childhood, these species aren’t on my life list because I haven’t seen them since I began birding in 2013.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2ldhGqs.

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