If you don’t have specific dates for some birds that you’ve seen, you can still do a one-time submission to eBird to get your life list up to date.


The first question to ask is whether you have a specific single date + location for a species. If you do, then please share your sightings in eBird normally, since those data are valuable! 


If you don’t have a precise location or a date, then you will enter your ‘life list’ sightings at the level of an entire county, state, or country. To do this:

  1. Go to the Submit page on ebird.org.

  2. Choose "Select an entire city, county, state, or country."

  3. Select a region that contains all of your sightings (e.g., if you are entering birds that were seen in Texas, Florida, and California, enter for “United States”). The largest region you can choose is a country—you will have to do at least one checklist per country of 'life list' records. 

  4. Choose Incidental for the Observation Type.

  5. Use a date of 1 January 1900 (you must do this for your list to be flagged properly!). 

  6. Do not enter a time.

  7. Add checklist comments that make it clear that you are submitting a baseline life list.



Please make sure your list-building checklist has this flag to ensure you submitted it properly! This process will flag these sightings as a "List-building" checklist when viewed in eBird so it will count towards your personal records but not be used for science. Once your lists are uploaded, you can learn how to view the different totals here.


After loading your life list, check out the eBird Essentials course and our article on eBird Best Practices to maximize the value of your bird sightings in eBird.