About us: We own a wild bird feeding supply nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What do they mean by lifer birds?

What do people mean when they say they have spotted a lifer bird? ~ Lansing, Michigan

Some bird watchers compile a list of every bird they see. Common birds at the feeders make the list first. Eventually a list of all the bird species they see and identify with absolute certainty in their lifetime is compiled. And there may be some excitement when a rarer bird is added to someone’s personal list.

Some birdwatchers will also increase their life lists in competitions for the most birds spotted when they create a national list, state list, county list, or year list. Typically, the list is kept in a journal that notes the bird species, the date, location and any notes you want to add. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing has a Birding Journal that helps you keep track of the birds you’ll see throughout the seasons. It also has tips, trivia and blank pages for notes and sketches.

If you are interested in creating your own life list, you can get a list of all the birds sighted in Michigan from the Michigan Audubon website or Wikipedia’s List of birds of Michigan.

Wikipedia also has a List of birds of Canada and the United States and the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) has a checklist of the 2,078 bird species known in North American.

Finally, for a list of the almost 10,000 bird species in the world go to http://www.birdlist.org/index.htm or check out the American Birding Association’s official list at http://www.aba.org/checklist/abachecklist.pdf.

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Gene Vermillion said...

A nice post. It illustrates how birding can be enjoyed on many levels.

#FeedtheBirds said...

Thank you for the nice comment! I agree. Bird watching is a wonderful hobby for people of all ages and can be enjoyed almost everywhere. Sarah