Deciphering Jargon in Bird Watching

P.D. asks, “I’m following a Facebook page about birds and someone posted that they ‘got a lifer’ What does that mean?”

Answer: A “lifer” or “life bird” is a new bird the observer has never seen before. The following are some other terms and abbreviations you might encounter.

LBJ or LBB — Little brown jobber or little brown bird. Used to describe a small brown bird that has yet to be identified.

FOY — First of the Year. Generally used during migration to let others know this is the first time the bird has been seen this year.

Lister — A birder who journals lists of birds seen and/or heard. These lists can be year, life, county, country and even yard lists.

Spark Bird — This is the bird that a birder saw or learned about that started their interest in birding or bird watching.

Bins — Short for binoculars.

Nemesis bird — A bird that has eluded a birder.

RBGB — Many bird names are abbreviated to save time. This abbreviation stands for “rose-breasted grosbeak.”

Chaser —  A birder that travels long distances to observe a rare bird that has been reported.

Fallout — A rather rare occurrence during which large numbers of migrating birds are forced to the ground during bad weather.

BIGBY — Big green big year. A birder focuses on reducing his or her carbon footprint while searching for birds by walking or biking a local patch or area for a year.

Big Year — A birder tries to see or hear as many species of birds as he or she can in a year.

Big Day — A birder tries to see or hear as many species of birds as he or she can in a 24-hour period.

If you have any questions about feeding or attracting birds, please email me or give me a call at 715-298-3140.

Happy birding!

Lori Schubring is the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Rib Mountain.


Comments are closed.