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Listing Guidelines

Questions or like to add a new list?

Internet Resources

Listing Guidelines

Africa

Go to Birding-Africa.com for full listing details and to download checklists for each of these lists

Africa south of the Sahara Life List. Different to the Afro-tropical list - includes islands such as Socotra, Pemba & Zanzibar, Annobon & Bioko, Sao Tome & Principe)

East Africa is defined as per Fanshawe – Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.


Regions

Nine World Regions

North America

Africa

Asia

Australasia

Central America

Europe

South America

W. Indies & Caribbean

World

Asia: ABA Defined: The Asian Area includes Russia east of the Ural River and Ural Mountains and the Russian Arctic islands east of but not including Novaya Zemlya. It also includes Kazakhstan (except for the portion west of the Ural River), Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey (except for the portion north of the Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, and the Dardenelles), and Cyprus. Asia is separated from Africa by the Suez Canal. In the Indian Ocean it includes Sri Lanka, Lakshadweep (the Laccadive Islands), the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but does not include Socotra (Africa), the Maldives, the Chagos Archipelago, and Christmas Island (all Indian Ocean). It includes the Russian islands in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. Japan, the Izu Islands (except Nampo Shoto and the Daito Islands), the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and most of Indonesia. In Indonesia the dividing line between Asia and Australasia runs through the Banda and Molucca Seas with Sulawesi, Banggai and Talaud on the Asian side, and the islands of Kai, Ceram, Buru, the Sula Group, and Morotai on the Australasian side.

SE Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam.

Oriental Asia: area defined by the Oriental Bird Club. The Indus river, Pakistan in the west through India and south-east Asia. The Wallacea line, East Indonesia in the east, and from * Mongolia, north-east Russia (E of 90°E) and Japan in the north. The Lesser Sundas and Christmas Island in the south.

Indian Subcontinent ; The Indian subcontinent includes India(including the mainland and two important island groups-Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and the Lakshadweep),Sri Lanka ,Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan. (Special thanks to Prashanth N. Srinivas)

Middle East: area covered by the standard fieldguide to the region Porter, Christensen et al. FieldGuide to the Birds of the Middle East.


Australia:

Checklist statistics
> Total Bird Species in Checklist 911 (inc. one swiftlet sp.)
> Non-Passerines 474 with 120 endemic
> Passerines 355 with 232 endemic
> Total bird species mainland and Tasmania 829
> Distant Island Territory Additions 82
> Total mainland and nearby island endemics 352 + 1 Extinct (Paradise
> Parrot)
> Total distant island endemics 11
> Total endemics in checklist 363
> Category Australasian Endemics species on mainland 173 (with 102 non-passerines, 71
> passerines)
> Category Australasian Endemics species on islands 4
> Total Australasian Endemics category in checklist 177
> Introduced species 27 (with 24 on mainland, 3 on distant islands)
> Endemic families 5

(Special thanks to Phil Gregory)

New Zealand: See Wrybill's NZ Listing Page


Western Palearctic: "As defined by Birds of the Western Palearctic; see the map inside the front cover of that book. It includes the Canary Islands, the Azores, Iceland, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East west of Iran. Bounded on the east by the Ural River and Mountains, the Caspian Sea, and Iran (not included)."

Europe: includes Eurasia minus Asia; Greece and European Turkey are included, but the rest of Turkey, adjacent Greek islands such as Lesbos and Rhodes, Cyprus, Atlantic Islands are not included. (This means that Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Mallorca, Crete, Sardinia etc are IN but Cyprus and Greek islands close(r) to the Turkish coast (Rhodes, Lesvos,etc) are OUT. The eastern boundary is the Urals, as defined for Asia.) (Special thanks to Steve Lister)

Britain: BOU Accepted. Please state in "Highlights" if using different guidelines eg UK 400 Club. Get a FREE 40-page booklet including a full and up-to-date list of birds recorded in Britain (at 31.7.00) all 555 species. UK please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope (2nd class). • Non-UK as a charity the BOU would appreciate a donation to cover postage costs. Donations in £ Sterling or US $ Dollars made payable to BOU. • Write to BOU,Natural History Museam, Tring, Herts HP23 6AP, UK clearly mark the envelope British List.

Self-Found Listing rules see below

France: Peuvent être comptées sur la liste française les espèces observées à l'état sauvage en France métropolitaine (Corse y compris) et figurant dans la liste de référence " Birds of the World - A checklist" de J. F. Clements" et dans les suppléments régulièrement publiés. Les oiseaux doivent avoir été observés vivants et ne pas être manifestement échappés de captivité

Birders can count in their french list all the wild birds seen in France (including Corsica). French listers follow the birds listed in “A”, “B”, and “C” category in the “liste des oiseaux de France métropolitaine” from the “Commission de l’Avifaune Française (C.A.F.) and L.P.O.” Birds have to be seen (not heard) alive and do not seem to be escapes”.

(Special thanks to Jean-Philippe.SIBLET and Alexandre RENAUDIER)

Self-Found: BOU accepted for Britain Self-found and AOU accepted for N. American Self-found. The UK 250 Club has laid out some good rules for what constitutes a Self-Found bird. "If the person who discovers the bird does not identify the bird to the correct species, he or she must have ruled out all but the principal confusion species to count it as a find. For vagrants, the discovery or re-discovery of a bird must be a genuine surprise. You must prove that you were completely ignorant of the bird being present at that site. More than one person can claim to have identified a bird if they vocalise or otherwise indicate that they have arrived at the correct identification more or less simultaneously." See the UK 250 Club for more detailed rules as to what constitutes a self-found bird.


North America

ABA Area: "as in the ABA Checklist: Canada and the 49 continental United States, St. Pierre et Miquelon, and their adjacent waters to a distance of 200 miles, or half the distance to a nonincluded area, whichever is less." See ABA website for listing rules

Pick up a checklist at ABA sales

Total Ticks is sum of one's life lists for all the states, provinces and territories that lie within the ABA Area (excludes Hawaii but includes French islands of St. pierre et Michelon) See ABA website

ATPAT (All Territories and Provinces Added Together) is sum of one's life lists for each of Canada's provinces and territories. See ABA website

Self-Found: AOU accepted for N. American Self-found. "If the person who discovers the bird does not identify the bird to the correct species, he or she must have ruled out all but the principal confusion species to count it as a find. For vagrants, the discovery or re-discovery of a bird must be a genuine surprise. You must prove that you were completely ignorant of the bird being present at that site. More than one person can claim to have identified a bird if they vocalise or otherwise indicate that they have arrived at the correct identification more or less simultaneously." See the UK 250 Club for more detailed rules as to what constitutes a self-found bird.


Central America: "Guatemala through Panama. Count species according to the taxonomy of the AOU Checklist, 6th ed."


South America: AOU's South American Classification Committee (SACC). Geographical scope: The region covered by the list is: (1) continental South America and all islands within 1200 km of its shores in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (including Malpelo, the Galapagos islands, San Felix and San Ambrosio, the Juan Fernandez islands, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade, Martin Vaz, São Pedro and São Paulo Rocks, and the Falklands/Malvinas); (2) islands in the Caribbean Sea close to South America and not covered by the AOU Checklist (including Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago); and (3) waters within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of these land areas, including the islands. (Special thanks to Paul Coopmans)

The Southern Cone is roughly the southern third of South America and would be defined as: Chile (including the Juan Fernández Archipelago), Paraguay, Argentina, Rio Grande do Sul state in extreme south-east Brazil, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands, with a 200 nautical mile sea zone from and around all areas. It includes Rio Grande do Sul (as included by Redford and Eisenberg 1989 Mammals of the Neotropics Vol. 2). (Special thanks to Mark Pearman)


West Indies and the Caribbean: "After Bond's Birds of the West Indies. Includes Bahamas and Bimini, Greater and Lesser Antilles, and marginal islands in the western Caribbean (San Andrews, etc.). Does not include Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, offshore islands of Venezuela, keys off Honduras and other Central American countries, Mexican islands, or Bermuda."


Miscellaneous:

Garden/Backyard: all birds seen and or heard whilst you are in the confines of your backyard/garden. Under Nationality, please state which city/town your garden is in, in addition to the country it is located in.

Self-Found: BOU accepted for Britain Self-found and AOU accepted for N. American Self-found. The UK 250 Club has laid out some good rules for what constitutes a Self-Found bird. "If the person who discovers the bird does not identify the bird to the correct species, he or she must have ruled out all but the principal confusion species to count it as a find. For vagrants, the discovery or re-discovery of a bird must be a genuine surprise. You must prove that you were completely ignorant of the bird being present at that site. More than one person can claim to have identified a bird if they vocalise or otherwise indicate that they have arrived at the correct identification more or less simultaneously." See the UK 250 Club for more detailed rules as to what constitutes a self-found bird.

Share Listing: Measure your Harmony Index with your partner. List comparison, emphasizing what species two partners' lifelists have in common. The total number of species seen TOGETHER after a certain "start date." Please note your start date in the highlights section and also what region/regions your share list covers (eg ABA or World etc). (Special thanks to Dale Mitchell)

Big Sit:
1) Observations can be made from any area within the state/country you live, or wish to represent.
2) Observations can only be made from within a 17-foot (diameter) circle.
3) There's no limit to how many people can occupy one area (other than the obvious spatial limitations). Bring some chairs. Have a picnic or barbeque. Welcome passers-by and their contributions to your
list.
4) If a bird is seen or heard from within the circle but is too distant to identify, the circle can be left to get a closer look for confirmation. However, any new bird seen or heard while confirming the original,
can't be counted unless it's seen from an "anchor" who stayed behind in your circle, or when you return to your spot.
5) The participants can work in shifts. No one person needs to be there throughout the whole Big Sit! The area can be left and returned to as frequently as desired, but you must be sure to return to the exact spot each time.
6) The same circle must be used for the entire Big Sit! (rules from New Haven Bird Club)

The Holarctic Region:
"List of Recent Holarctic Bird Species" by K.H.Voous, published by the BOU in 1977 and 1980 defines the Holarctic Region as "the cold and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere" Nearctic, Western Palearctic and Eastern Palearctic regions combined. See Mark Beaman's "Palearctic Birds", pp.10-13, Harrier Publications, 1994 for defining southern Palearctic limits.

The Nearctic part of the Holarctic includes the area treated by by the AOU's "Checklist of North American Birds" (5th ed., 1957) [NOT the 6th or 7th eds. which added Central America, the Caribbean and Hawaii to the area]. The Nearctic consists of Greenland, Bermuda, the Bahamas and North America north of the Mexican-American border, as well as the "non-tropical parts of Mexico (states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Mexico, Distrito Federal, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon).

Many thanks to Peter Landry for this list suggestion


THE 9 WORLD REGIONS

Special Thanks to Don Roberson Check out Don's website for great world birding info
5 continental regions, including offshore waters and islands out to 200 nautical miles, or half the distance to a nearby continent, plus Antarctica in South Polar region (see its definition).

3 oceanic regions, including ocean and islands more than 200 nautical miles from a continent and its 'inshore' islands or island groups."


THE NORTH AMERICA REGION >

The North America Region includes all of the Aleutian Islands, and is divided from Eurasia by a line in the Bering Sea running midway between Attu, St. Matthew, St. Lawrence, and Little Diomede islands on the North American side, and Mednyy (in the Commander Islands), the Siberian coast, and Diomede Island on the Eurasian side. The North America Region includes other related islands within 200 nautical miles of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts; the Bahamas, all of the cays and islands lying between Nicaragua and Jamaica, and all of the Greater and Lesser Antilles south to and including Grenada and Barbados (but excluding Trinidad and Tobago and the other Caribbean islands specifically included in the South American Region). The North America Region includes all of Panama, and extends across the Caribbean Sea halfway to South America and its related islands.


THE SOUTH AMERICAN REGION >

The South America Region includes the entire continent from the Panama/Colombia border south to Cape Horn, and includes Fernando de Noronha, Trinidad, Tobago, the Venezuelan islands near 12 degrees north latitude, Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba; and extends across the Caribbean Sea halfway to North America and its related islands. Excluded are Isla de Malpelo (west Of Colombia), the Gala pagos Islands, and the Falkland Islands.


THE EURASIA REGION >

The Eurasia Region includes Europe and Asia. The European portion includes Malta, Great Britain, Ireland, and the Hebrides, Rockall, and Shetland Islands, but excludes the Faeroe Islands and Iceland. Included in the Asiatic portion are Wrangel, Diomede, and the Commander Islands, the Izu Islands (excluding Nampo Shoto and the Daito Islands), the Ryukyu Islands, the Philippines, and Indonesia east through the entire Banda Arc (Greater and Lesser Sundasj to Timor and Tanimbar. Eurasia includes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep (the Laccadive Islands). Excluded are the Maldives and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The dividing line between Eurasia and Australasia in Indonesia runs through the Banda and Molucca Seas, with Sulawesi (Celebes), Banggai, and Talaud on the Eurasian side, and the islands of Kai, Ceram, Buru, the Sula group, and Morotai on the Australasian side. The Suez Canal separates Eurasia from Africa.


THE AFRICA REGION >

Tlhe Africa Region includes Socotra in the Arabian Sea, Sao Tome and Annobon in the Gulf of Guinea, and the Canary Islands, but excludes Madeira. The Africa Region does not include Madagascar or the Comoro Islands which are in the Indian Ocean Region.


THE AUSTRALASIA REGION >

The Australasia Region includes Halmehera and the Moluccan rslands, New Guinea (with Waigeo, Biak, Woodlark, and the Louisade Archipelago), the Admiralty Islands, and the Bismarck Archipelago; but excludes Green Island, Bougainville, the Solomon Islands, and the Micronesian islands of Tobi, Helen, and Kapingamarangi.


THE SOUTH POLAR REGION >

The South Polar Region includes all land and ocean south of 52 degrees south latitude in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and south of 56 degrees south latitude in the Pacific Ocean. Where 56S in the Pacific reaches the 200 nautical mile pelagic belt of South America, the boundary follows the edge of the palagic belt around the tip of South America and northward in the Atlantic Ocean to 54S, thence eastward to 50 degrees west longitude, thence northward to 52 degrees south latitude, thence eastward to 147 degrees east longitude (the boundary of the Pacific Ocean Region), thence southward to 56S. This boundary approximates the Antarctic Convergence. The South Polar Region includes Shag Rocks, South Georgia, Bouvet (near 5E), and the Heard Island group. Excluded are the Falkland Islands, Kerguelen, and Macquarie Island.


THE OCEAN REGIONS >

The Atlantic/Arctic Ocean Region
Pacific Ocean Region
The Indian Ocean Region
The Ocean Regions include all oceans and islands not included in any Continental Region nor its pelagic belt. Each extends south to 52 or 56 degrees south latitude, as defined for the South Polar Region.


THE HOLARCTIC REGION >

List of Recent Holarctic Bird Species" by K.H.Voous, published by the BOU in 1977 and 1980 defines the Holarctic Region as "the cold and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere" Nearctic, Western Palearctic and Eastern Palearctic regions combined. See Mark Beaman's "Palearctic Birds", pp.10-13, Harrier Publications, 1994 for defining southern Palearctic limits. Many thanks to Peter Landry for this list suggestion

Some Useful Internet Resources for the Rankings

Australian Birdwatching

Birding-africa.com

American Birding Association Listing Rules

Creagrus - World Birding Info

NZ Birders Totals

Oriental Bird Club

Teen Birdchat

UK 250 Club for Self-found guidelines in the UK

UK 400 Club

World Twitch

Washington Birder

Wrybill - NZ

Zest for Birds SA 700 Club

Twitching is increasing in popularity in Southern Africa and there is now a dedicated group of people who try to see as many birds as they can within the subregion. It is not uncommon these days to hear of a group that travel from one end of the country to the other to chase after a rare bird and with the advent of cell phones and the SA Rare Bird Alert list server, this is becoming reasonably commonplace.

Southern Africa currently has a list of just over 940 species recorded within its boundaries (which is taken to be that portion of land south of the Cunene and Zambezi Rivers and including territorial waters up to 200 nautical miles offshore). The SA 700 Club is a group of people who have all seen at least 700 species within the subregion. The full list of people with their respective totals for Southern Africa can be found at Zest for Birds


We are currently in the process of creating other rankings for other parts of the world to make this the most comprehensive database of its kind. Do let us know if there is a ranking you would really like to see so that we can prioritise which ones to roll out first. Thank you and have fun!