Friday, November 22, 2013

Keeping Track

I was recently asked what I do for keeping records of all the birds I have seen over the years and through the many countries I've had the fortune to visit. Here are my thoughts on my record keeping.

After I am gone, there will likely be no one who will be interested in looking through an electronic record of what I saw. That is what eBird is for. So…I keep all my sightings in the field guide for that country or region. This way, when people look at what I saw, they can view the bird, too. For the countries where I have significant sightings, I have hard bound those field guides and created a uniform look to the collection. All volumes are green. Cost of binding the books is about $35 each. My North American life list is in the original Cornell, spiral bound life list book that came out sometime in the 80’s, now bound, without the spiral, like the others in the collection. This is also where I keep track of my Connecticut list and my yard list. My next book to be bound will be the one for the Pantanal as I have just completed my third trip there.

The only lists I have counted (so far) are the North American (focused on the continental 48 states), Connecticut list, and the most important…my yard list! The rest of the lists, I really don't care about. When I travel outside of the US, for some reason I have never thought about how many birds I can see. I have always, before the trip, found two or three birds I think would be cool to see, and I focus on them. I still really want to see an Ornate Hawk Eagle! Heard one once. And there is a really cool bird in the South Pacific called the Feline Owlet Nightjar! Awesome! I got to see that! If you don’t know this bird, Google it, and you will be hooked! Let me know if you want to join me!

So, that’s the listing world according to Andy! Lots of ways to fry these potatoes!

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