eBird does not have a way to load an initial life list, since the minimum requirement for an eBird record is species + single date + location. You can build a life list through the normal process of eBirding by entering the species + single date + location if you have that information. For information on entering sightings in eBird, please see this article.
Some birders do not have those detailed records, and we understand that you may want to get your life list current before using eBird. To do this, please follow these instructions:
- Submit your life list for a certain county, state, province, or country using "Select an entire city, county, state, or country."
- Please DO NOT pick a specific location for a checklist that covered multiple sites in a county, state, or country (see above).
- Submit as an Incidental observation that is marked "No" to the "reporting all species" question.
- Use the date of 1 January 1900.
- Do not enter a time.
- Add checklist comments that make it clear that you are submitting a baseline life list.
This information will flag it for us as a checklist that will not be used for science, but can still be used for your personal lists and it will appear as a "List-building" checklist when viewed in eBird. If you have legitimate historical data to enter for 1 January 1900, please get in touch directly with Team eBird.
Thanks, and we hope that after loading your life list you will submit location-specific complete checklists with start time and duration, since this is what is most useful to eBird.
Once your lists are uploaded, you can learn how to view the different totals here.