Why You Should Keep a Bird List

Beyond the simple pleasure of adding a new bird to your life list, keeping track of the birds you see can aid in bird conservation. Lists provide useful information to people and organizations who work to protect birds.

Types of Bird Lists

Peterson Field Guide App
  • The Life List: A list of all the birds you have ever seen. Addictive enough to explain explain expensive Antarctic birding cruises. Keep with it and perhaps you can join the 600 club: people who have seen 600 of the 671 regularly occurring birds in North America.
  • The Yard List:  A list of birds you see from your home. The benefit of a yard list is that it tracks birds over time. You can compare what you saw last year with this year’s yard list.
  • The Patch List: Similar to the yard list but is an area you go to often, such as a local park, your dog-walking route or favourite camping spot.

How to Keep a Bird List

Old fashioned pen and paper is fine, but the connectivity of on-line bird lists is what make them so valuable to bird conservationists.  Bird list apps offer searchable databases, up-to-date information about rare bird sightings, and excellent identification tools for species and bird song.

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