How About a Bird List?

Bird of the Month by Russ Chappell

Our birding community consists of a wide variety of enthusiasts. Some casually spot birds as they drive along the road, or visit a park, and others put up feeders, bird baths and bird houses so they can observe them at home.

More serious birders visit local hotspots armed with binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras seeking that very special sighting. Others, not satisfied with just our local feathered friends, travel the planet

in search of rare and exotic species.

More extreme birders, sometimes labeled ‘twitchers,’ primarily concentrate on adding as many confirmed species to their life and/or year list, as quickly as possible. The movie The Big Year, featuring Steve Martin and several other well known actors, tells their story.

What about you? Where do you fit into this group of wildlife enthusiasts? Do you study bird behavior, enjoy their quirks, find them intriguing, discuss them with other birders? Do you keep a record of your sightings? Whatever level you identify with, all birders can benefit from one simple item: a list! But why a list?

One of the most rewarding aspects of life for many people are their memories, and maintaining a birding list enhances the experience by helping us remember those special moments, adding to the overall enjoyment of birding.

There is a wealth of online information related to help you start and maintain a birding list. The Backyard Nature Home website ( publishes “The Life List,” an article filled with information to make the experience easy and rewarding.

Another great source is Optic Bird (, presenting another excellent article, “What is a Bird Life List? What Birds Count?”

You can find a downloadable Yavapai checklist on the Prescott Audubon Society website (

As we approach 2021 and continue adapting to our new lifestyle as a result of Covid, getting out into nature is an excellent way to enhance quality of life and appreciation for the beautiful, natural surroundings we are blessed with. Perhaps a bird list can add to the experience!

The Prescott Audubon Society is an official chapter of the National Audubon Society. Check it out online at

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