Listing Your Birds: The Importance of a System
Who Uses Birder's Diary? The shaded countries represent sales in the first 3 months of 2015!
For the beginning birder, there are tools that can make your experience more enjoyable. We discussed these important tools in a previous article. However, having a system to record your bird watching is a large part of the sport’s overall enjoyment. In this article, we will take a more in-depth look at listing options and the importance of them.
The term listing when related to birding simply means to track, or to record the information related to sightings. Birders and Naturalists record information including the species (or subspecies or identifiable form) they see, and often other details including times, locations, and many other similar details. Most will start small, merely using a field guide to check off birds they've seen, or a pen and notebook with short entries regarding their sightings. As the hobby progresses, many find that more is desired from their listing method. Choosing the best system for your needs can seem to be a daunting challenge. Fortunately, a little research can go a long way in finding the optimal listing method for you.
Traditional Listing Options
There are three common options for listing your sightings and observations. As mentioned, perhaps the most common method for beginners is simply using a pen and paper. A notebook is an excellent tool to begin with. In it you can note the where, when, what, and any other details you feel are important. The second method is using a spreadsheet on your personal computer or mobile device. This improves upon the notebook method a bit, as it still allows you to record the information you desire, and also gives the ability to sort and manipulate your data slightly. The third method is perhaps the easiest, however it also provides the least ability to work with your information. Simply checking off birds in a field guide will show you which birds you have seen. Unfortunately, it allows for little else in terms of tracking. These methods are all easy to use and a great start. Experienced birders, however, eventually desire more. Options including report generation, adding photos, and quickly creating family connections and comparisons are simply not possible, or at least not efficient and effective with any of these methods. It is also more difficult to manually input or update new taxonomic list information and report findings to science. Fortunately, a fourth option is available; listing software.
If you are a beginner, there is no requirement that you struggle through these beginning methodologies for recording your sightings. Choosing a listing program right from the start can generate more satisfaction and reward in your hobby with less effort. Allowing you more time enjoying the outdoors.
Pasqueflower - Pulsatilla ludoviciana
Listing with Software
Thanks to the growth of birding, there are software programs available that aid in your listing activity. These are designed with your hobby needs in mind. There are some excellent benefits provided by these programs which can greatly increase your personal enjoyment of your hobby. Birder’s Diary is the premier listing software available and is the clear choice for birders around the globe. Just a few of the fantastic features include the ability to attach photos, to import and export data including taxonomic lists, to backup and restore your information in the event of system failure, and the ability to create and even define your own reports as you see fit. Hierarchal lists can be created based on unlimited user defined locations. Birder’s Diary even includes editors for taxonomy, checklists, and language. The comparison tool is also very powerful allowing you to effortlessly compare sightings with no limitations. There is simply no single method of tracking more robust, easier to use, with more benefits than Birder’s Diary. The important thing to consider when it comes to listing software is that not all programs are created equal. If you have reached a point where you believe software would be your best option, take the time to compare your software options to ensure that the features you need and want will be available.
If you did start with one of the beginning methodologies, Birder’s Diary contains a few methods for quickly converting your current list and getting it into the program. Initial Setup Mode in Entry Setup was designed for quickly getting your tick marks from the back of your field guide into the database. Sightings Import was designed to move all of your sightings from your spreadsheet into the database very quickly and easily.
Try Birder's Diary
Birder’s Diary is the World's premier listing software for birders and naturalists, for good reason. For over 20 years, Birder's Diary has been leading the industry in technology, products, and services. The software uses the top taxonomic lists making it great not only for birders, but for anyone passionate about trees, plants, reptiles, mammals, butterflies, and many other forms of natural beauty. It is much more than a mere listing program allowing you to attach photographs, compare sightings, create a family report, and generate reports. For more information, please browse our features page on our website, or contact us at email@example.com. We also offer a free 30-day trial of our software with no commitment necessary. Birder's Diary warmly welcomes you to the beautiful sport of birding and looks forward to helping you make the most of your new hobby.