Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Florida "Lifers"

No, not that kind of "lifer." It's a bird that has been added to ones life list.

A life list is a compilation of all the bird species a birder has identified with absolute certainty during their whole lifetime of serious birding. Being "serious" implies knowing about look-alike species and subspecies, the various plumage states, and having a systematic-enough mind to not be sloppy and haphazard when it comes to making the lists.

This is my third year of "serious" birding. By serious I mean I'm fairly obsessed with it, enough to spend a good amount of time at it. The first year I decided to keep track of things. With a good mentor and lots of wood lots and parks nearby, the first hundred birds came fairly easily. The next summer brought about fifty more and then it became hard and harder. A winter trip to northern Minnesota and the Sax/Zim bog area brought another dozen. Then a March first ever trip to Florida brought a new bonanza of "lifers"which put me over the 200 mark. Take a look at a few of them.


Royal Tern
White Ibis
Brown Pelican
Little Blue Heron
Painted BuntingIf you should start your own Life List right now, and for some reason during the rest of your life you never travel beyond your neighborhood, you might well end up listing a hundred species or more -- many species being spotted during migration. If you should expand your birding trips to include local parks and nature reserves, you could end up with 300 or more species. If somehow you were to see all the bird species ever sighted in all of North America, your list would hold about 850 names. So far no one has seen all the earth's more than 9,000 bird species. Hmmmm. I think I should have started this counting business sixty years ago. At this stage of life 9,000 looks like a pretty long shot for me. :)

18 comments:

  1. Your photos are gorgeous and that Painted Bunting is something else!....those colors......oooooh.

    Congrats on your list, may it increase mightily.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well you know I love the birds!!! Great photos.

    I love your Lilly photos as well. I planted some in my flower garden this year for the first time. They were on sale! :) I had never had any before. I hope they turn out as beautiful as yours!

    Have a Happy Day!
    xo Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never started a life list, though find myself very excited whenever I see one I've never seen. I'm impressed that your list is already so long and varied!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's great you saw them when you did. May not be nearly as many after this Gulf disaster.

    Do you belong to one of the bird clubs?
    Marnie

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm not sure I could get serious about birding, but it is enjoyable to study them. It's going to be fun to return to Wakulla this winter and look for the birds as they stop by for their winter vacation. Now that you've been to Florida, it will be calling you back!

    ReplyDelete
  6. OOH! Love that painted bunting!!
    And I love Florida, because the birds (mostly) are big enough to see without your glasses, haha!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting. One of the things that I most look forward to in spring is the sights and sounds of birds.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a wonderful collection of bird photos! Are you putting them in an album?
    I love the tuft of feathers the royal tern has! They always have a fabulous "hair day" :D

    I just love watching our local birds... wish I could see more of our state bird- the bluebird...
    probably too many houses around!

    Enjoy your bird watching !!!
    Wishing you wonderful summertime days ~ Maria

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is always great fun to find a lifer. Great pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Painted Bunting is outstanding. Getting serious, you are. Friend here books a trip each year to some little island in the Great Lakes where the migrating songbirds stop to rest.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Florida has really expanded my lifer list. This last trip I got a Cooper's Hawk and didn't even realize it until Hap ID'd it for me. I try to be serious, but sometimes they are so close in detail. Specially the hawks. Love watching the Anhingas. You don't show a Comorant, so next time in Florida look for it. Sometimes they are in the same (sort of) area that the Anhinga are.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the photographs! I do not keep a list, but I do love seeing a "lifer."

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a Great Idea! (At least starting in one's own yard would be more do-able.) Thanks for giving me another "obsession!" ha.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I almost thought that the powers that be had finally caught up with you TB. LOL!!

    This is a wonderful selection of birds and not one of them s the same as we have here. I wonder how many species of birds there are in the world?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazing birds – especially the colors on that Painted Bunting! Keep snapping away and sharing. I just got back from Quebec City, but didn't see any birds there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, I'm impressed! You're a for-real birder! Those are great pictures. I love the heron.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congratulations on your enjoyable obsession! I'm a very casual lister, recording sightings in my immediate vacinity almost exclusively. Birding in Florida would give me a permanant kink in my neck! (And traveling somewhere like South America would freak me completely out! :)

    ReplyDelete