Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

A Birding Life List is a comprehensive list of all wild birds an individual has seen in person. A truly comprehensive Life List will include the bird’s common name, scientific name, date, location, and any additional notes (e.g. tree the bird was found, weather conditions, on a feeder, etc.). Following is my Birding Life List. This list has been pulled from a few of my own non-comprehensive lists that I kept before I even knew people kept birding journals and Life Lists, so much of the information that would be found on a comprehensive list is missing, but I am adding new information as I get it!

(see my previous article on the Benefits of Birding for Permaculturists)

My current Birding Life List total is: 310

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow 

Growing up in the southern tip of Florida gave me the opportunity to see a lot of birds. Some are found all over the United States, some are found only in the eastern United States, some are migratory that just enjoy the Florida Winters, and some are only found in South Florida. I have also lived in Kentucky, Minnesota, and now settled down in Tennessee. I have traveled to almost every state in the United States, and I have done a little traveling in Canada and Mexico, but was not very serious about birding during most of those trips. So now, I am building my life list of birds from what I am sure I have identified in the past as well as current identifications.

NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS – UNITED STATES

  1. Common Loon (Gavia immer), Summer in Minnesota while in medical school (2004-2007) and Vermont (year?)
  2. Pied-Billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 13 December 2015, Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, Asheville, North Carolina
  3. American Coot (Fulica americana), South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  4. Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata), South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  5. Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus), South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  6. American Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  7. Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  8. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) Eastern Unites States and I believe in the Azores as well
  9. Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) multiple locations around the world, almost all have been introduced/naturalized
  10. Tundra (Whistling) Swan (Cygnus columbianus), Minnesota while in medical school (2004-2007)
  11. Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens), one late Summer/early Fall when I lived in Bowling Green, KY
  12. Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), frequently in Minnesota while in medical school (2004-2007), frequently in other locations, mating pair on our pond in Spring of 2015. Frequent visitors at our farm.
  13. American Black Duck
  14. Mallard
  15. Blue-Winged Teal (Anas discors), first spotted in Chesterton, IN (8 May 2017)
  16. Wood Duck
  17. Northern Shoveler
  18. Muscovy
  19. Redhead
  20. White Pelican South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  21. Brown Pelican South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  22. Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  23. Ring-Billed Gull South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  24. Greater Black-Backed Gull South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  25. Royal Tern South Florida (numerous times, this is where I grew up)
  26. Caspian Tern
  27. Common Tern
  28. Black Skimmer
  29. Great Blue Heron
  30. Little Blue Heron
  31. Great Egret (Great White American Egret)
  32. Snowy Egret
  33. Cattle Egret
  34. Black-Crowned Night Heron
  35. Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
  36. Green Heron
  37. Least Bittern
  38. American Bittern
  39. Wood Stork
  40. Whooping Crane
  41. Sandhill Crane
  42. Limpkin
  43. White Ibis
  44. Roseate Spoonbill
  45. American Flamingo
  46. Ruddy Turnstone
  47. American Woodcock
  48. Common Snipe
  49. Killdeer
  50. Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria), first positively identified in Chesterton, IN (8 May 2017)
  51. Wild Turkey
  52. Ringed-Neck Pheasant
  53. Common Bobwhite
  54. Snail Kite
  55. Broad-Winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), numerous times in the southeastern US
  56. Red-Tailed Hawk
  57. Red-Shouldered Hawk
  58. Cooper’s Hawk
  59. Sharp-Shinned Hawk
  60. Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus). Autumn and Winter at BK*
  61. Bald Eagle
  62. Golden Eagle
  63. Osprey
  64. California Condor
  65. Turkey Vulture
  66. Black Vulture
  67. American Kestrel
  68. Peregrine Falcon
  69. Burrowing Owl
  70. Barn Owl (Tyto alba), Autumn 2015 at BK*
  71. Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), August 2016, Northern Vermont. Voice only. March 2017, Greene County (Laughlin Memorial Hospital).
  72. Budgerigar
  73. Monk Parakeet
  74. Mourning Dove
  75. Rock Dove
  76. Ground Dove
  77. White-Winged Dove
  78. Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), February 2017, Park City, Utah
  79. Mangrove Cuckoo
  80. Yellow-Billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), Spring 2017 at BK*
  81. Greater Roadrunner
  82. Common Nighthawk
  83. Chuck-Will’s-Widow (Antrostomus carolinensis), Spring at BK*. Voice only.
  84. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  85. Belted Kingfisher
  86. Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), Autumn at BK*
  87. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  88. Red-Headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), first identified in central Indiana (4 May 2017)
  89. Downy Woodpecker
  90. Hairy Woodpecker
  91. Northern Flicker
  92. Eastern Kingbird
  93. Western Kingbird
  94. Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus), Summer at BK*
  95. Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus), fence in Texas on cross-country trip
  96. Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum), August 2016, stream bed leading to Lake Seymour, Vermont
  97. Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus), first identified in Lexington, KY (9 May 2017)
  98. Eastern Phoebe
  99. Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  100. Barn Swallow
  101. Tree Swallow
  102. Chimney Swift
  103. Purple Martin (Progne subis), first positively identified at Lloyd’s house near our home (31 May 2017)
  104. American Crow
  105. Northern Raven
  106. Blue Jay
  107. Scrub Jay
  108. Stellar’s Jay
  109. Red-Eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017), also Summer at BK*
  110. Yellow-Throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  111. Black-Billed Magpie
  112. Carolina Chickadee
  113. Black-Capped Chickadee
  114. Tufted Titmouse
  115. Red-Breasted Nuthatch
  116. White-Breasted Nuthatch
  117. Carolina Wren
  118. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  119. Golden-Crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa), April 2017, Appalachian Trail near Roan Mountain, TN. Walking the trail with Elijah.
  120. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  121. Brown Thrasher
  122. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), first positively identified in central Indiana (6 May 2017)
  123. Northern Mockingbird
  124. Eastern Bluebird
  125. Mountain Bluebird
  126. American Robin
  127. Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus), December 2016, BK*
  128. Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), April 2017, BK* (Voice only)
  129. Veery (Catharus fuscescens), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  130. Loggerhead Shrike
  131. Cedar Waxwing
  132. Red-Winged Blackbird
  133. Brown-Headed Cowbird
  134. Rusty Blackbird
  135. Common Grackle
  136. Boat-Tailed Grackle
  137. Eastern Meadowlark
  138. Western Meadowlark
  139. European Starling
  140. Baltimore Oriole
  141. Spotted Oriole
  142. Scarlet Tanager
  143. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra), 11 May 2016, BK*.
  144. House Sparrow
  145. Dark-Eyed Junco
  146. Northern Cardinal
  147. House Finch
  148. Purple Finch
  149. Cassin’s Finch
  150. American Goldfinch
  151. Indigo Bunting
  152. Blue Grosbeak
  153. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), first positively identified in central (6 May 2017)
  154. Eastern Towhee
  155. Spotted Towhee
  156. American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  157. Chipping Sparrow
  158. Field Sparrow
  159. Swamp Sparrow
  160. Song Sparrow
  161. White-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  162. White-Throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), 18 Dec 2015, BK*, Downhill of Arrowhead Pond.
  163. Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens), 23 May 2017, BK* on farm road by treehouse
  164. Black-Throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017) (voice only!)
  165. Blue-Winged Warbler (Vermivora cyanoptera), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  166. Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  167. Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina), first positively identified in Lexington, KY (10 May 2017)
  168. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), first positively identified at Seven Islands Birding Park, TN (27 June 2017)
  169. Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia), August 2016, on Lake Seymour , Vermont. First spotted by my 5-year-old daughter, Abigail!
  170. Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata coronata), Winter 2016, BK*, outside the big house
  171. Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  172. Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), first identified by voice, Spring 2017, BK*
  173. Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum), Winter 2015, Orlando, Florida
  174. Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus), April 2017, BK*, outside the big house
  175. Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor), August 2016, BK*, in the Elderberry patch on the edge of the pasture behind the barn
  176. Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
  177. Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), first positively identified at Indiana Dunes State Park (8 May 2017)
BK_Prairie_Warbler_01.jpg

Prairie Warbler (male) at the Bauernhof Kitsteiner

BK_Prairie_Warbler_02.jpg

Prairie Warbler (female) at the Bauernhof Kitsteiner

 *BK = Bauernhof Kitsteiner. This is our family farm in northern Greene County in East Tennessee.

NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS – MEXICO

  1. Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  2. Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  3. Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  4. White-Crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  5. Groove-Billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  6. Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  7. Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  8. Golden-Fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  9. Olive-Throated Parakeet (Eupsittula nana), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  10. Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  11. Boat-Billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  12. Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  13. Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  14. Couch’s Flycatcher (Tyrannus couchii), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  15. Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  16. Yucatán Jay (Cyanocorax yucatanicus), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  17. Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  18. White-Collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  19. Melodious Blackbird (Dives dives), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  20. Great-Tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  21. Black-Cowled Oriole (Icterus prosthemelas), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  22. Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico
  23. Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis), 2-3 June 2017, Cancún, Mexico

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICAN BIRDS

I had the opportunity to travel a little bit through a few countries in Central America, and I spend almost a full week at Manuel Antonio National Park in southwestern Costa Rica. I also spent about a week in southern Brazil. I was not very focused on birding during this time in my life, but I did take note of a few memorable birds. I will update this list as I have time to go back through my photos and notes.

  1. Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)
  2. Gray-headed Tanager (Eucometis penicillata)

 

I tried for almost 2 years to get a good photo of this albino female House Sparrow when I lived in the Azores... this is the best I could get!

I tried for almost 2 years to get a good photo of this albino female House Sparrow when I lived in the Azores… this is the best I could get!

MACARONESIAN BIRDS

These birds were spotted during my two years living in the Azores. As with all other places I have been, I saw many more species of bird, but I was unable to identify them. The only bird I have on this list that I have not identified for certain is the Azores Bullfinch. I place it on the list because I am almost certain I saw one when driving through its very small territory… an area just over 2.2 square miles (5.8 square kilometers). It is the second most endangered bird in Europe. I would say I am 90% certain I saw it, but that is not enough for me without an explanation.
The italicized and non-numbered list are of birds mentioned, and counted, above.

  1. Atlantic Canary (Serinus canaria)
  2. Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris aurantiiventris)
  3. European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis parva)
  4. Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina)?
  5. Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild)
  6. Azores Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs moreletti)
  7. Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla gularis)
  8. Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea patriciae)
  9. European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
  10. Common Azores Blackbird (Turdus merula azorensis)
  11. Azores Starling (Sturnus vulgaris granti)
  12. Azores Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus azorica)
  13. Azores Common Quail (Coturnix c. conturbans)
  14. Eurasian Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus correiana)
  15. Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
  16. Roseate Tern (Sterna dougalli)
  17. Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)
  18. Great Shearwater (Puffinis gravis)
  19. Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis atlantis)
  20. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
  21. Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
  22. Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
  23. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
  24. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
  25. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo rothschildi)

 

  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  • Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
  • Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
  • Mallard (Anas platyrhyunchos)
  • Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
  • Great White Egret 
  • Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
  • Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

 

EUROPEAN BIRDS

Due to my time in the Air Force, I spent a decent amount of time in England and central and western Europe. I never lived there, but I was able to travel quite a bit. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to focus on birding as much as I would have liked. I will update this list as I have a bit more time.
The italicized and non-numbered list are of birds mentioned, and counted, above.

  1. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
  • European Starling

 

MIDDLE EASTERN BIRDS

I lived in south-central Turkey for two years. While it is considered part of Asia, it is definitively part of the Middle East and Mediterranean. While I saw a lot of birds, I had a very difficult time finding a good guide book to identify them. Unfortunately, I think I may never know the identity of all the birds I saw during my time there. Wikipedia has a decent list of Turkish birds. I need to go through them and see if I can find any others I have seen.

  1. Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
  2. Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
  3. Black-Eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)
  4. Black-Headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala)
  5. European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
  6. Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)
  7. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

 

The Lilac-Breasted Roller... probably the most beautiful bird I have ever seen in real life.

The Lilac-Breasted Roller… probably the most beautiful bird I have ever seen in real life.

AFRICAN BIRDS

Back in 2007, I spent 4 weeks working at an HIV mission hospital in Nigeria. I then took another two weeks to travel through southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique). I was into birding then, and kept a pretty good list. I got rather excited when I saw a new species. The other people in my group (there were five of us total) were not that interested in birds, but they would jump up when I would exclaim, “Oh, wow!” only to be disappointed it was “just a bird” when they were expecting a lion or rhino. They made me promise not to be excited out loud unless it was a mammal. I was fine enjoying the birds on my own.
The italicized and non-numbered list are of birds mentioned, and counted, above.

  1. Crested Francolin
  2. Natal Francolin
  3. Swainsons Spurfowl (Francolin)
  4. Common Quail
  5. Small Buttonquail
  6. Red-Crested Korhaan
  7. Bronze-Winged Courser
  8. Spotted Thick-Knee
  9. Blacksmith Lapwing (Plover)
  10. Kori Bustard
  11. Common Ostrich
  12. African or Jackass Penguin
  13. Giant Kingfisher
  14. Malachite Kingfisher
  15. Brown-Hooded Kingfisher
  16. Green-Backed Heron
  17. Purple Heron
  18. Goliath Heron
  19. African Darter
  20. White-Breasted Cormorant
  21. Marabou Stork
  22. Saddle-Billed Stork
  23. Glossy Ibis
  24. Egyptian Goose
  25. Hammerkop
  26. African Jacana
  27. African Goshawk
  28. African Fish Eagle
  29. African Black Swift
  30. Cape Vulture
  31. Bateleur
  32. Secretarybird
  33. Cape Crow
  34. Pied Crow
  35. White-Necked Raven
  36. Arrow-Marked Babbler
  37. Forked-Tailed Drongo
  38. Burchell’s Coucal
  39. Cape Turtle Dove
  40. Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove
  41. Cape Wagtail
  42. Great Sparrow
  43. African Grey Hornbill
  44. Red-Billed Hornbill
  45. Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill
  46. Trumpeter Hornbill
  47. Southern Ground Hornbill
  48. Common or Black-Eyed Bulbul
  49. Grey Go-Away-Bird or Grey Lourie
  50. Speckled Mousebird
  51. Tawny-Flanked Prinia
  52. Ashy Tit
  53. Southern Black Tit
  54. African Black-Headed Oriole
  55. Blue Waxbill
  56. Red-Headed Finch
  57. Mocking Chat
  58. Helmeted Guineafowl
  59. Burchell’s Starling
  60. Cape Glossy Starling
  61. Greater Blue-Eared Glossy Starling
  62. Red-Billed Buffalo Weaver
  63. Common Fiscal or Shrike
  64. African Magpie Shrike
  65. Grey-Headed Bush Shrike
  66. Orange-Breasted Bush Shrike
  67. Brown-Headed Parrot
  68. Red-Billed Oxpecker
  69. White-Fronted Bee Eater
  70. African Paradise Flycatcher
  71. White-Bellied Sunbird
  72. Wire-Tailed Swallow
  73. White-Rumped Swift
  74. Sentinel Rock Thrush
  75. Lilac-Breasted Roller

 

  • Laughing Dove
  • Common Sparrow
  • Hoopoe
  • Cattle Egret
  • Great White Egret
  • Great Cormorant

 

AUSTRALIAN, NEW ZELAND, MICRONESIAN, AND ANTARCTICA BIRDS

I hope to visit this part of the world one day. Until then, I will just dream of Kiwis, Kookaburras, and Penguins!

 

 

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Photo References: All photos are mine (except the Lilac-Breasted Roller). If you would like to use them, please let me know!