Why do birders create State lists?

To: Steve Potter <>, Birding Aus <>
Subject: Why do birders create State lists?
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 01:24:24 +0930
You've hit the nail on the head, Steve - it is the nature of "man".  Women
are far less likely to systemise whether it's birdwatching or

And knowing something of the devastation caused to the Ik by the carve up
into Kenya, Sudan etc I agree with your use of the term "havoc".

Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
PO Box 3460 NT 0832, AUSTRALIA
Ph. 61 08 89 328306
Birdwatching and Indigenous tourism consultant
PhD Candidate


on 4/2/09 5:05 PM, Steve Potter at  wrote:

> Why do birders create State lists?
> The nature of man is to bring order to his surroundings. We create lists as
> it's part of our DNA. What sort of lists and why is a personal thing.
> Boundary's are a part of what we have been stuck with, but you have got to
> have something to define the list. In Africa for instance some ignorant
> Euros and Poms drew lines right through people groups to carve up the
> territories creating havoc but I do have a "birds of Malawi" list not a
> "birds of the Chewa speaking people"...
> I list my own state and country but am looking to do the other states as
> well. I also list birding spots, ie Birds of xxx National park, birds of the
> Noosa region... for reference. No one will look at them except me but there
> fun!! A bit like slides from old holidays......
> I also list how may surf spots I've surfed (this has its own set of
> criteria) - 218 - I would like to know how many times each and how many
> waves caught per session but I think that would be a bit over the top.....
> Also Countries of the world I've visited etc
> List are fun, some people collect stamps and rocks. I have a friend who
> collects sand from beaches he visits... but that could be deemed as
> environmentally uncouth..
> Cheers
> Steve Potter
> Blackwood, South Australia
> Why do birders create State lists?
> from [Frank O'Connor]
> [Permanent Link][Original]
> To:
> Subject:
> Why do birders create State lists?
> From:
> Frank O'Connor < >
> Date:
> Wed, 04 Feb 2009 01:25:15 +0900
> Because it is a free country ..............
> Seriously, I do keep state lists. It started because the first field guide
> that I bought was Simpson & Day, and it has check boxes next to the
> distribution maps. So (for some reason I cannot remember) I ticked a box for
> each state I saw the species in. When Christidis & Boles came out in 1994, I
> collated the information and have maintained my state lists since.
> For anyone interested, my state totals are
> Queensland 494 (including Torres Strait islands)
> WA 480 (not including Ashmore, Cocos or Christmas)
> NSW 336 (not including Lord Howe)
> NT 289
> Victoria 259
> SA 240
> Tasmania 145 (not including Macquarie)
> For some reason, I haven't recorded ACT. I have only passed through a couple
> of times. I have separate lists for each island territory.
> Queensland and WA are the only states I have birded extensively. There are
> massive holes in the other states. I don't plan trips to fill in these
> holes, but if I happen to be in a state, then I do try to add a few more
> 'state ticks'. I might make an exception for Queensland and plan a trip to
> take it to 500 as a nice round number, but I would also be looking for
> mammals, butterflies, etc at the same time. WA has always been my main list
> even before 1994. I only put together my Australian list when C&B1994 was
> published.
> As for biogeographical regions I can't see how you can clearly differentiate
> them in the field. You can be standing on the edge of a "freshwater wetland"
> surrounded by open "grass fields" with some "woodland" close enough by. Or
> standing in "coastal heath" looking at birds on the "coastal beaches", and
> some breeding on a nearby "offshore island" with some "pelagic" birds also
> flying by. Yes I know these aren't exactly the 85 "recognised" bioregions
> quoted by Laurie, but I am not going to make 3 or 4 separate lists when I am
> in the field. They all go on to the one Atlas form.
> _________________________________________________________________
> Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
> Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email : 
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