What do you consider lifers?

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monklet
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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by monklet » June 4th, 2011, 8:40 am

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
Any rules may be abused but the ABA is very specific as to listing rules.
Members 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
other areas.
(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.
excerpted from: http://www.aba.org/bigday/rules.pdf

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.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by monklet » June 4th, 2011, 8:43 am

Great piece of work Jim ...I HATE poetry but even I can understand and appreciate the sentiment. :thumb: :lol:

Daryl Eby wrote:I won't be fully satisfied until I SPOT one myself without it rattling first.
Man, that is harsh ...but cool! 8-) ...btw, great adaptation of Jim's canonical work.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Daryl Eby » June 4th, 2011, 8:54 am

monklet wrote:
Daryl Eby wrote:I won't be fully satisfied until I SPOT one myself without it rattling first.
Man, that is harsh ...but cool! 8-)
Point of clarification: I do count my past leps. The species went on my life list (mentally at least) when I found my first one AOR many years ago. I just have a long standing personal goal of spotting one unaided. Basically a challenge to my searching/spotting skills -a test I've yet to pass. I also agree with you about "to each his/her own".

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Don Cascabel » June 4th, 2011, 10:02 am

I consider a lifer anytime I find a species for the first time and can positively identify it. Finding a dead specimen can be as important as finding a live specimen... this is especially the case when you are talking about new species or species which are only known from the type specimen, a few specimens, or thought extinct.

I consider life-listed anything found in the field, dead or alive, that was positively identified. I also count stuff found by my field crew, be they in the same car or a separate one, as long as we were herping the same area at the same time in a concerted team effort.

That being said, anything that I have only seen dead, or I have seen alive but DO NOT have good photos of, has an asterisk by it alerting me that I am still needing a proper photo of one.

With the pit-vipers, I am a bit more particular, and am shooting for finding all of them myself, and by a repeatable field hunting method. (i.e. Road-cruising doesn't count)

Cheers,

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 4th, 2011, 12:50 pm

Daryl.
That was FRIGGIN GREAT! :thumb: I should dig up my "What Kind of Herper" villanelle I wrote on a similar thread awhile back...(I think it was related to D. Shultz/Wild Recon) :roll: :D jim

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Daryl Eby » June 4th, 2011, 1:41 pm

hellihooks wrote:Daryl.
That was FRIGGIN GREAT! :thumb: I should dig up my "What Kind of Herper" villanelle I wrote on a similar thread awhile back...(I think it was related to D. Shultz/Wild Recon) :roll: :D jim
Thanks. I enjoy pretending to be the Weird Al of poetry, especially children's rhymes. My first creative writing teacher used assign tasks like this. It is a good writing exercise and lots of fun, but a far cry from creating an original work.

I don't recall reading your "What Kind of Herper". Please do dig it up.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 4th, 2011, 3:51 pm

I 'Weird Al' LOTS (if not all) song lyrics with the most obscene lyrics my twisted mind can come up with, for my band 'Jim Bass and the Crusty Menstruals' (availible for weddings/kid's parties) :lol: :lol:


Turns out my poetry (mostly unpublished) mirrors in many ways the work of Richard Wakefield (Lit Crit Seattle Times) HE is a successfull well-respected up-coming poet... I've often toyed with the idea of seeing if I could get a book of my poetry published... but with online publication nowadays, it's hard to get a publishing house to pay for poetry.... :roll:

Turns out I started a thread with the Title of that poem... which actually loosely ties in with this thread, if you extrapolate well... :D
Har She Be...

What Kind of Herper?

What kind of herper, is that guy?
He fills me with disgust!
Hopefully he’ll get snakebit, and die!

A commercial collector? Sales on the fly?
There’s a sucker you cannot trust!
What kind of herper, is that guy?

“My Personal Collection, just a few!” he will cry
Satiating again, his private herp-lust.
Hopefully he’ll get snakebit, and die!

Biologists pickling herps in short supply,
“It’s the rules!” they say…”It’s Just!”
What kind of herper, is that guy?

All the herp posers, for the best pic they vie,
Couldn’t go in-situ, it was covered in dust!
Hopefully he’ll get snakebit, and die!

A guy on TV, perhaps forced to lie…
To gain his fame, he’ll do what he must.
What kind of herper, is that guy?
Hopefully he’ll get snakebit, and die!



While inspired by some recent 'flame-outs', This Villenelle is not directed at anyone in particular... just a bit of social commentary (my style) on the need for tolerance, and the need for careful consideration in word choice. I've been all those guys in the poem... and I've been snakebit... and died. So if anyone takes umbrage, consider it a poem I wrote about me... I not only don't want anyone to get snakebit, and die... having been all those guys, I don't presume to judge anyone else (lest I be judged). Rather, I now try to persuade others to what I believe is the best position.... it's called 'Rational Discourse', and something that I believe, if we really try, we are all capable of... :) Jim

Edit...the disclaimer at the end of the poem was included with the poem's post and has nothing to do with this thread. :thumb:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chad ks » June 4th, 2011, 5:48 pm

Jim I thought your Whitman poem was great!

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by justinm » June 4th, 2011, 5:58 pm

chad ks wrote:Jim I thought your Whitman poem was great!

I was pretty taken by it as well, thanks for putting that up.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 4th, 2011, 6:01 pm

chad ks wrote:Jim I thought your Whitman poem was great!
Thx Guys... playing the curdmugeon is always fun... :crazyeyes:

Heading out herping RIGHT NOW... :thumb: jim

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Paul White » June 5th, 2011, 4:08 pm

So for me, Lifers are not just marking something off a list, they are a list of personally satisfying moments.
exactly. And what people find personally satisfying is variable. If someone else brings one over from 1/2 a mile a way I probably wouldn't count it but if I was flipping a pile of boards with someone and mine was empty but the one underneath it that they got turned osmething up? Or the one right besides me? yeah I'd count it. If you wouldn't (generic you here) that's fine but I would.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by DaneConley » June 5th, 2011, 7:08 pm

ErikNM wrote:I count DORs as lifers with an asterisk. I also try and find herps that I've already found, but lack photos of. Also, if a group of us is actively searching in the same area, I count any found by the group as lifers. If the group is in another area or another car, then I don't count those.
Exactly how I count them...You been following me haha. :lol:

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by joeysgreen » June 5th, 2011, 9:03 pm

It seems that there are a lot of trends here, and the differences perhaps arn't that significant. As long as what you see is what you record, then the goal of a life-list is acheived, isn't it?

I record the species, the state/provinces I"ve found it in, if I have a satisfactory photograph of the species, and a column for notes, such as "only DOR specimen found", or "potentially a Cope's Grey Tree Frog". The latter was deleted as the call verified it to be a Hyla versicolor.

I'm not overly competitive, but like to see how I measure up with people I look up to. Not having the field herping opportunities that many of you have, I want to make the most of my experiences, and comparing my life list with some of yours (even if it's just the list of animals found during your trip posts) helps me gage if I'm doing things right or not.

Ian

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by sjfriend » June 5th, 2011, 9:35 pm

my two cents: Not a race, I don't care how many you have. I keep mine just for my info.

DORs don't count, just make me cry. If I'm with someone and they beat me to a piece of A/C and find one I'll count it if I would have hit it (as in I had seen it already or it was along my path). Road cruising counts only if I'm in the car that first spotted it. Which for me is usually always the case as I've only once cruised with more then one car (and most of the time I'm alone).

I don't really care how others count theirs as I'm only interested in keeping track of my finds. Don't have to handle it, If I could have caught it, or was close enough to Id before it runs away (whiptails come to mind), it counts. I just use my field guides for my list. Don't always keep great notes especially if common (couldn't tell you where first side blotched or western fence were found).

This is for personal fun not who is better. As I said, to each his / her own. So If I'm with someone else and they count one I find in the next canyon over good for them but I wouldn't if the other way around.

Lets get out there and have fun

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by chrish » June 6th, 2011, 1:05 pm

I am an avid bird lister and herp lister (and mammals as well). Listing is a contest with yourself, not other people. I don't really care that I have more or less stuff than other people, I just want to make my list for my own pleasure and memories.

As for what counts, I don't give a rat's a$$ what criteria you use, I have my own. I do have some species that I haven't seen alive that I have asterisks next to. When I finally see a live one, then I take those off.

I count species I have heard and positively identified (e.g. Carpenter Frogs). Why would it be any different if I had seen on from 50 feet away and positively identified it as opposed to hearing it from 50 feet away and positively identifiying it?

Also, for those of you hard line "must be alive/no DORs" people......what if you hit it or see it get hit? You saw it alive.

Here's another one for you - What if you go out to a friend's boardline/tin pile and they say "I can guarantee you there is a xxxxx under that tin." You flip it and they are correct (I have observed this more than once). Is that a lifer that you found?
FunkyRes wrote:There was a case (I read about it here) where a pair of nesting birds had been seen in a county where it had not been seen in many years.

A scientist, I believe working for the DF&G but I might be wrong about that, got the locale from the list - and killed them for taxidermy as he needed a taxidermy pair of that species for some purpose.

There was a huge uproar over it.
If you are referring to the case I am thinking about (I know the scientist involved), the bird was the first US record for a widespread mexican species (in TX, not CA). This was in the day prior to the internet and birding being as popular as it is today. The scientist heard about the record and drove down to the site (with appropriate state and federal permits) and collected the first US specimens of the bird. He had no idea that the word had gotten out to the birder community or that they would be so pissed that they wouldn't be able to tick it off their US lifelists. He was surprised by the reaction frankly - he hasn't made the same mistake since. Bird listers get equally pissed nowadays when a photographer chases a rare bird away as well, as may have happened with the first North American record of White-capped Elaenia two years ago. Or they got really pissed a couple of years back when a scientist doing a survey photographed the first north american record for a particular flycatcher in Louisiana but didn't tell anyone else until it was published as a record - long after the bird was gone.

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 6th, 2011, 4:10 pm

chrish wrote:


Here's another one for you - What if you go out to a friend's boardline/tin pile and they say "I can guarantee you there is a xxxxx under that tin." You flip it and they are correct (I have observed this more than once). Is that a lifer that you found?
Chris
Funny you mention that... Once, after a SD survey (Escondito Creek Conservancy, I believe) Todd Battey, (our CO) and I were telling our friend and VP Billboard that neither of us had ever seen a wild striped-phase King. He took us to his 'hill' and we saw like 8 kings in 40 min... half of them striped. He literally told me "flip that board... it should have a king" under it was the MOST PERFECTLY-PATTERNED, BEAUTIFUL Striped King I've ever seen. Bill has a pic of me holding it (he says...but hasn't gotten around to sending me a copy... :roll: ) but I don't really need it... the image of that snake is etched in my mind. As was that whole herping experience... 25 herps in like 40 min... :shock: Something I'll never forget (thx Bill.. :thumb: )
But do I count it, and the SD Ringnecks I saw as lifers? HELL NO!!!
I did NO RESEARCH, No figuring out where and when to go, and next to no effort. I DID NOT earn it. When you EARN something... you (or I at least) appreciate it more, and the satisfaction is great, and lasting.
I don't drink or do drugs anymore, so endorphin releases (natural rush) are all I have to look forward to... doing it 'my way' gives me the best I can get. Not only do I not care what other people do, frankly, I'm not even interested... :roll: I collect and submit data to help the herps... but I herp FOR ME! :D jim

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Curtis Hart » June 6th, 2011, 6:51 pm

hellihooks wrote: But do I count it, and the SD Ringnecks I saw as lifers? HELL NO!!!
I did NO RESEARCH, No figuring out where and when to go, and next to no effort. I DID NOT earn it. When you EARN something... you (or I at least) appreciate it more, and the satisfaction is great, and lasting.
So, assuming this day was the only time you ever encountered these species, how would you count them. I'm guessing you would at least have a mental note in your head, or a record in NAHERP. Just curious as to how they figure in for you.

chrish wrote: I count species I have heard and positively identified (e.g. Carpenter Frogs). Why would it be any different if I had seen on from 50 feet away and positively identified it as opposed to hearing it from 50 feet away and positively identifiying it?
Although hearing a Crawfish Frog was the highlight of one of my Snake Road Trips, and I love hearing frog choruses, I still can't bring myself to count them. I may get there some day. I see your point.


chrish wrote:Also, for those of you hard line "must be alive/no DORs" people......what if you hit it or see it get hit? You saw it alive.
My lifer Ord's Kangaroo Rat, I hit. It was alive when I saw it it counted. My lifer American Badgers, someone else hit, and it was the biggest wildlife heartbreak I've ever had. They still counted. Just need to see them alive, end state does not count. This one I feel bad about and have made a new rule for myself, but I actually shot my lifer Lesser Scaup and Redhead, while duck hunting. I still count them, because they were alive when I encountered them.





Curtis Hart

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Don Cascabel » June 6th, 2011, 7:49 pm

Hey Daryl & Jim...

If you really want to see how much of a "field herper" you are, why don't you clock how much time you spend on Google Earth (off season) and in the field (On Season). That's probably a better measure than lifelisting... For example, the season is gearing up down here, and I am spending about 2 - 4 hours per day scouting on Google Earth (for new populations mainly, some new species as well). Once we get rolling with the rains (hopefully by Friday) I estimate I will spend about 12 - 18 days in the field per month through October. Field herper? You tell me...

Cheers,

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Don Cascabel » June 6th, 2011, 7:51 pm

PS - Probably won't get any lifers on the first few trips... but we are shooting for about 5 state records.

Cheers,

Chris

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by joeysgreen » June 6th, 2011, 9:19 pm

lol, don't you have a job, or a family? I'm still a herper :)

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Norman D » June 6th, 2011, 9:35 pm

Lifers... well I keep records of live and dead animals of target species - primarily crote species and pyros. Also, I record locality lifers - localities or mtn ranges that I haven't found the listed species.

Everything else, I just take pics and they keep me from getting skunked.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by hellihooks » June 7th, 2011, 6:03 am

Don Cascabel wrote:Hey Daryl & Jim...

If you really want to see how much of a "field herper" you are, why don't you clock how much time you spend on Google Earth (off season) and in the field (On Season). That's probably a better measure than lifelisting... For example, the season is gearing up down here, and I am spending about 2 - 4 hours per day scouting on Google Earth (for new populations mainly, some new species as well). Once we get rolling with the rains (hopefully by Friday) I estimate I will spend about 12 - 18 days in the field per month through October. Field herper? You tell me...

Cheers,

Chris
I just recently upgrades to a computer that can even handle 'Google Earth'... and have only used it to pinpoint certain unusual finds (like a 3-way intergradation spot (SD,GB and Pacific) for gophers. The few lifers I have left in my immeadiate area... I know where to go, just a matter of time.
If and when I have the time/$ to venture further abroad, I may try scouting with google. I count localities as well as species, as lifers... so plenty of them to keep me busy, in my area... like another 'Barstow' desert-phase helleri... :thumb: jim

Oh yeah.. Curtis...
So, assuming this day was the only time you ever encountered these species, how would you count them. I'm guessing you would at least have a mental note in your head, or a record in NAHERP. Just curious as to how they figure in for you.

To date... that has been the only time I've seen those two... and I say I've seen them, but haven't gone out and found them myself. I don't count it unless I find my own spots. I didn't even take my camera with me that day, to collect data, cause I was being shown a spot someone else had spent YEARS maintaining/grooming. I've never been back... :D

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Daryl Eby » June 7th, 2011, 1:33 pm

Don Cascabel wrote:Hey Daryl & Jim...
Mr Rattler,

I don't take life listing (or herping for that matter) very seriously at all. Just a compelling hobby. My revision of Jim's poem was just for fun. If I were to rank "field herpers" based on my impressions of them from FHF and comments I hear from others, you'd be very close to the top and I'd be somewhere in the bottom half.

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Re: What do you consider lifers?

Post by Kookamongus » January 22nd, 2019, 8:23 pm

Bryan_Hughes wrote:
June 3rd, 2011, 10:07 pm
For me, if it's in the wild, photographed in the habitat, living and healthy, it counts. Who cares who saw it first?
Same here

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