The purpose of the ABA Check-list is to provide a complete, up-to-date list of the 957 bird species verifiably recorded in North America north of Mexico, as reviewed and compiled by the ABA Checklist Committee through July 2008. This checklist includes a list of all species' English and scientific names, their birding codes, space for birders to enter their "life list" data, and an annotated list of all species considered casual, accidental, extirpated, or certainly or probably extinct - those species marked as Code 4, 5, or 6. It includes all species native to the ABA area that can be verified, whether permanent resident, seasonal resident (breeding or non-breeding), regular visitor (non-breeding), or vagrant. Also included are those exotic (non-native) species with populations that are considered established.
Containing 957 species, with 33 species new to the Checklist since the previous edition, 3 species have been removed, several additions as a result of "splits," and 14 renamed species. Also includes detailed accounts of more than 200 species with the status Casual, Accidental or Cannot Be Found, outlining their status and distribution in the ABA area.