Why do birders create State lists?

To: <>
Subject: Why do birders create State lists?
From: "Steve Potter" <>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 10:33:21 +1030
Why do birders create State lists?

Totally agree re the birding list thing. My wife is a birder as long as it
doesn't include Thornbills, waders and ducks!!

But she is WAY more organised and list orientated than I. It's just that her
lists are different.

Her main list I get to see is the "jobs on the house that need finishing"


Steve Potter
Blackwood, South Australia

Why do birders create State lists?
from [Frank O'Connor]
[Permanent Link][Original]

Why do birders create State lists?
Frank O'Connor < >
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

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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