A buddy of WC asked recently how many species of birds WC has photographed. It’s a little embarrassing, but any answer would be a guess.
So WC is working through about 170,000 photos, trying to total them up. It’s complicated. First you have to decide what list of bird spcies you are going to use. There are lots. WC settled on the International Ornithological Congress’s current list (January 2018) which lists 10,478 species. It changes every year. A species might get split into two or more, or two species might get lumped into one. And new species are still being found.1
In addition, the IOC – and Clements and the other international bird list sources – change the names of bird species all the time. WC’s bird photos span about 17 years of so, and there have been a lot of those kinds of changes. WC spent two hours sorting out four species of shags – cormorants in America – and is still uncertain. Lumps, splits and renames.
And it turns out that WC has been less than rigorous about identifying every species he has photographed.
Anyway, less than a third of the way through the photos, the answer is 482 and counting.
The good news is that there are a lot of species WC had forgotten about, and it is a treat to find decent photos of them.
Blog posts will be a bit short as WC grinds through this process. But cool bird photos may be the result.