Sunday, February 21, 2010

Accounting Error

Finally I've begun keeping my life list in a more systematic way, rather than adding to the lists here and manually counting each bird to discern my total. I copied my list into a spreadsheet, which I eventually hope to expand from just an alphabetical listing to several variations, including family and species groupings. Nonetheless, looking at the list this way is enlightening.

One benefit, of course, is that it gives me an accurate total of the birds I've seen - I'm afraid my accounting has been off and I'm two birds lower than I'd previously totalled. The relieving part of this is that at least I've not duplicated any birds on the list, so I can move forward updating with assurance. With recent additions to my birds - which I'll detail soon - I'm now at 173 species, and hoping to grow as often as I can.

I highly recommend some uniform way to keep a life list. Whether you choose a birding journal with an integrated list, a checklist in your favorite field journal, a computer spreadsheet, or some other variation, as long as it works for you it can be a valuable and interesting tool for your birding. I've been petrified that this blog, which has been the only complete record of my sightings, would become disrupted, but now my life list is safe and free to expand. Let's get birding!

4 comments:

Adam R. B. Jack said...

Lifelist support (for birds, mammals, flowers and more) is built into WildObs.com. It even exports to a spreadsheet if you'd like to do your own accounting. :)

Avimor Birder said...

May I encourage you to test out eBird as a great way of tracking your birds sightings, both numbers of species and quantities of each. It keeps a great life list for you as well as state and county lists. It is super easy to use and its FREE!

Kathiesbirds said...

I use to live in Utah near the Great Salt Lake and I love to bird in this place! You are so lucky to live there!

I use to just keep my life list by making notations in my bird guide next to the species I had seen. 2 years ago I started to use eBird and now I use it all the time. All I have to do is enter the data and they keep track of everything for me. You should give it a try. Your data will be safe and it will also be used for a greater purpose to help others and the birds! eBird keeps track of all the catagories you mentioned and I know they need more data from Utah.

Melissa said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I suppose I will have to give eBird a try, when I'm up to tackling new technology (we don't get along). But I'll check it out!