|Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) at San Bernard NWR, Brazoria, TX 12/04/2010.|
About three years ago when we became more serious about birding and began to keep a Life List, we also discovered eBird. Basically, it is an on-line list-keeping database (more about eBird here) from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In addition to keeping a personal list, our daily birding "checklists", along with many others, are provided to scientists studying bird distributions.
As casual bird watchers we have seen a few other species before starting the eBird list. But, we did not document place and time for these. So our eBird "Life List" really only includes species seen in the past three years.
The list grew rather quickly at first with easily seen and readily identified birds. The first 100 species took only a couple of months, the first 200 about a year. However, as the "easy" birds have been added, new ones have been added more and more slowly, as you can see in this plot.
|Growth of the number of bird species on our Life List with time.|
Our total is approximately 30% of the total number of bird species ever reported on eBird for the continental US and Canada including Alaska (the ABA Area), and we are getting close to listing half of the species ever reported for Texas. (Actually, we have 45.8% - one of the neat statistics that you get on eBird.)
Update: Our 311th species, American Bittern.
|American Bittern, San Bernard NWR, Brazoria, TX 12/9/2010|
Listing can itself become an obsession (to be the subject of another post). However, we hope that we can avoid this and that we will continue to see our list as only one aspect of learning more about birds in nature.