Date: 2/3/19 11:19 am From: Joe Roller <jroller9...> Subject: [cobirds] How to find your true Colorado bird list total
Mark Chavez's comments were spot on!
Your eBird list is usually an overcount, as it includes birds that are not on the official Colorado list, as carefully maintained by the CFO's Colorado Bird Record Committee, the CBRC.
Here is one way to figure out your true, valid CO list, the only way to compare your sightings with other birders: Start with your eBird CO list total, which is an *over-count* for most of us. Subtract species that have not yet been considered or voted on by the CBRC for inclusion on the official state list, like Pink-footed and Barnacle Goose.
Other species to subtract from your eBird list are "exotics" like Mute Swan and African Collared-Dove. Mexican Duck has been considered and *not* accepted as a separate species from Mallard. But you'll be pleased to know that birds like Fork-tailed Flycatcher HAVE been voted on and accepted. To see the up-to-date, official CO list, go to the CFO website and look under "Birding Resources", then at the top of the menu, go to the (printable) Official Checklist of Colorado Birds. Some of us print that out and keep a paper list for Colorado birds.
You can keep track of your true CO and county lists this way: Go to the CFO website, and under Birding Resources, click County Listing, then Enter Your Counts. Log in and fill in the boxes. Click Annual and All-time lists. In small font at the bottom, be sure to click "Update your counts" or the updates will not be kept. You can do this a few times a year if you care to.
But that is somewhat tedious. An easier way is to use the Colorado state list that eBird keeps for you, which is a close approximation, but an over-count, and mentally subtract PF Goose and any exotics you may have ticked off on eBird. That is the only way you can compare your lists with those of others. When you hit a milestone, like 350 or 400 species on your Colorado *eBIrd* list, you may not have actually hit it yet, if it includes Pink-footed Goose or Mute Swan.
And yes, you can keep your personal lists any way you want, eg, counting birds you see at the zoo or counting the Evergreen Rufous-collared Sparrow. BUT such a list cannot be compared to any other birders' lists. Use the ABA rules, of course - no dead birds, no eggs, no birds seen in a mist net at the banding station! True, it's all a game, but there are good rules to follow to avoid fooling yourself, just as in golf, curling and stamp collecting.
I'll try to answer questions and clarify this off-line (or on-line if of general interest).