Carolina Young Birders Club


Year Listing

Posted by Matt on February 17, 2014 at 7:55 PM

This year, I finally began keeping up with a year list.  Several other birders I met keep year lists as a measurement of how many bird species they see in one year.  Year listing makes birding a lot more fun in my opinion.  Every year you can start with a clean slate, and each new bird, regardless of whether you have seen it before, is almost as special as a new life bird!  January and February prove to be some of the most fun birding of all, and December can be frantic trying to add on a few more species!

I'm especially keeping track of the birds I see in the Carolinas for 2014.  Some good places to boost your year list in the Carolinas- #1. The Coast, especially in Winter: the coast is a magnet for birds, with an abundance of open land and watery habitats. In winter, waterfowl fill ponds and seasides across the Carolinas.  #2. The Mountains.  Highland habitats provide refuge for numerous species normally found farther north, such as Red Crossbill and Common Raven.  #3. Anywhere during Migration: even your local patch can provide a varied variety of Neotropical migrants twice per year, including birds that neither breed nor winter in the Carolinas such as Tennessee Warbler and Gray-cheeked Thrush.

Bonus ticks: to get even more birds for your year list, here are some bonus opportunities: Bonus 1: Rarities.  Visiting stakeouts for unusual species definitely allows your list to grow much more than it usually would.  Bonus 2: Gulf Stream Pelagic.  A trip out at sea can yield birds that would never be seen from land, such as Tropicbirds and Petrels during summer and Skuas and Puffins during winter.

As you can see year listing can add fun to your birding!


Matt Janson

President, Carolina Young Birders Club

Categories: Info

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Reply Martina
5:03 PM on February 24, 2014 
I've been keeping a list too. At the moment I'm at 64, with the Hairy Woodpecker most recently. I wish we could go to the beach more often, since shorebirds are a weak point.
Reply Matt
7:55 PM on February 24, 2014 
64 is definitely not bad! I have a friend in the Hudson Valley of NY who is currently in the fifties- that is in good, rural bird habitat, too! Granted the frozen water bodies has reduced his waterfowl count. Anyways, not bad at all. I'm currently at 137, but that is with an amazing start (I've been overnight 3 times to the coast already this year, so I was really lucky- that is what gave me my big numbers). Coming on our Sandhills Field Trip will definitely help both of our lists!
Reply Martina
5:20 PM on February 25, 2014 
Yeah, I hope so! Last year I couldn't make it to Meck. Audubon's Sandhills trip, so I missed out seeing the Red-cockadeds, which would be lifers! Hopefully on our trip to Arkansas in the spring I'll get to see some roadrunners and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers!
Reply Matt
7:23 PM on February 25, 2014 
That should be nice. Apparently Arkansas has good birding- where West and East meet. You really wouldn't expect that though.