Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
For years, people and groups have developed listings or checklists of birds that occur in a particular region. Information on the distribution or seasonal occurrence of birds in an area, however, can change over time. Bird checklists often are outdated in only a few years after printing, but budget and time constraints prohibit regular updates. The Internet provides new opportunities for the compilation and dissemination of current information on bird distribution. Here we offer bird checklists developed by others that indicate the seasonal occurrence of birds in state, federal, and private management areas, nature preserves, and other areas of special interest in the United States.
Objective: We hope that these checklists will serve several purposes. First, we hope the checklists will help bird enthusiasts decide where to visit. A visit to these unique areas can be a rewarding experience for both the amateur and expert birdwatcher. Second, we hope that these checklists will provide potential visitors with a guide to birds that might occur in a region during a particular season. The checklists were kept simple to facilitate printing so they can be easily carried into the field. And third, we hope that these checklists will stimulate and encourage visitors to these areas to help improve the accuracy and completeness of the checklists. The information in some checklists already has been updated; these checklists contain more current information than the printed versions.
Reporting Rare Birds: Sightings of birds and other wildlife are an important part of monitoring wildlife use. We encourage visitors to share their observations of rare, aberrant, or occasional birds with the staff at these areas. With each checklist, we have included an address for visitors to send information on rare birds so that checklists can be updated. To assist in establishing standards in observation and reporting, we also provide a Record Documentation Form to document supporting details of rare bird observations.
Developing a Bird Checklist: Bird checklists vary in format, style, and the types of information that are included. Some bird checklists are simple lists of the bird species that occur in a particular area, and other checklists contain details on a species' abundance and preferred habitats. A number of factors should be considered when developing a checklist, including cost, time, and personnel available to develop and update the checklist. Also, some agencies or organizations have standardized formats for checklists, including the types of information that are included in the checklists. Standardized formats allow checklist users to make meaningful comparisons of species abundance, distribution, and habitat use among seasons and different regions. To assist in checklist development, we provide A Proposed Format For Local Bird Checklists, written by Bob Andrews, Bob Righter, and Mike Carter for Colorado bird checklists. This article is not meant to dictate to others what to include in bird checklists, but rather we include this article to provide some items to consider when developing a checklist.
Acknowledgments: We gratefully acknowledge the efforts and dedication of the many birders, birding groups, biologists, and resource managers who developed these checklists.
Invitation: We encourage others to make their checklists available on this Web page. If you have a checklist that your organization would like served here, or for further information, please contact:
Lawrence D. Igl
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
8711 37th Street SE
Jamestown, ND 58401
Instructions: Choose a state from the map above or the list below to view a state map with locations of areas covered by the checklists.
Master Table of Contents -- A listing of all checklists in the Bird Checklists resource.
This resource should be cited as:
Igl, Lawrence D. 1996. Bird Checklists of the United States. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/chekbird/index.htm (Version 12MAY2003).