Any rules may be abused but the ABA is very specific as to listing rules.Natalie Mcnear wrote:It seems that birders make a much bigger deal about actual numbers, but they are a lot less picky about what's considered a lifer and what isn't
excerpted from: http://www.aba.org/bigday/rules.pdfMembers who submit lifelist and annual list totals to the American Birding Association for publication in the
annual ABA List Report must observe the ABA Recording Rules. Many non-members who enjoy maintaining
lists find these rules useful.
A bird included in totals submitted for ABA lists must have been encountered in accordance with the following
ABA Recording Rules.
(1) The bird must have been within the prescribed area and time-period when encountered.
(2) The bird must have been a species currently accepted by the ABA Checklist Committee for lists within its
area, or by the A.O.U. Checklist for lists outside the ABA area and within the A.O.U. area, or by Clements for all
(3) The bird must have been alive, wild, and unrestrained when encountered.
(4) Diagnostic field-marks for the bird, sufficient to identify to species, must have been seen and/or heard and/or
documented by the recorder at the time of the encounter.
(5) The bird must have been encountered under conditions that conform to the ABA Code of Birding Ethics.
I personallly enjoy listing competiton and the sporting and motivational aspect that it adds, but with no uniform code by which to list, the competition is muddied. It might be a good idea for NAFHA to establish a set of listing rules but the arbitration process could get long and bloody
Until such is written, to each his/her own. I'll go by my own set of rules which is only for my own satisfaction and probably more strict than most.