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Updated on Tuesday, February 10 at 02:44 PM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Moustached Turca,©BirdQuest

10 Feb News from the California Bird Records Committee [Phil Davis ]
28 Jan Re: database of captive birds? [Joseph Morlan ]
28 Jan database of captive birds? [Chris Hill ]
19 Dec MD/DC Records Committee Documentation Policy Changes [Phil Davis ]
08 Dec Re: Historical reference help - Aud Soc of NH Bull 1933 [Phil Davis ]
07 Dec Historical reference help - Aud Soc of NH Bull 1933 [Phil Davis ]
30 Nov Re: What records are saved and how? [Joseph Morlan ]
30 Nov What records are saved and how? [Stan DeOrsey ]
20 Nov Re: Remotely sensed birds [Kurt Radamaker ]
20 Nov Re: Remotely sensed birds [Matt Bartels ]
20 Nov Remotely sensed birds [Chris Hill ]
23 Apr Re: Records committee autonomy [William Rowe ]
23 Apr Re: Records committee autonomy [Phil Davis ]
12 Apr Records committee autonomy [Joseph Morlan ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Martin Meyers" ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons [William Rowe ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Michael L. P. Retter" ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons [William Rowe ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Michael L. P. Retter" ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Michael L. P. Retter" ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Michael L. P. Retter" ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons [Chris Hill ]
09 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Geoffrey A. Williamson" ]
9 Mar RE: Term Limits Pros and Cons [David Irons ]
9 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons [Steven Mlodinow ]
08 Mar Re: Fw: Term Limits Pros and Cons [Bill Whan ]
8 Mar Term Limits [Milt Moody ]
7 Mar Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons [Steven Mlodinow ]
8 Mar Fw: Term Limits Pros and Cons ["Alan Wormington" ]
8 Mar Term Limits Pros and Cons [David Irons ]
06 Feb CBRC adds Marsh Sandpiper, Common Swift to California list [Phil Davis ]
22 Jan News from the California Bird Records Committee [Phil Davis ]
6 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates [Kurt Radamaker ]
6 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates [William Rowe ]
06 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates [Joseph Morlan ]
6 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates [William Rowe ]
6 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates [Kurt Radamaker ]
6 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates [Steven Mlodinow ]
5 Jan Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates ["Martin Meyers" ]
4 Jan Bird Record Committee Mandates [Chris Hill ]
19 Nov Re: Review of non-review species documentations [Doug Faulkner ]
18 Nov Re: Review of non-review species documentations [Phil Davis ]
14 Nov Re: Review of non-review species documentations [William Rowe ]
14 Nov Review of non-review species documentations [Doug Faulkner ]
25 Aug Seeking info on records of large numbers of Little Gulls in interior North America ["Geoff Malosh" ]
9 Aug RE: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross ["Kurt Radamaker" ]
9 Aug Fw: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross ["Alan Wormington" ]
9 Aug RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross ["Kurt Radamaker" ]
9 Aug RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross ["Kurt Radamaker" ]
9 Aug RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross ["Kurt Radamaker" ]
9 Aug RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross [Ted Floyd ]
30 Jul RE: Barnacle Goose Records [Ryan Brady ]
30 Jul Fw: RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["Alan Wormington" ]
30 Jul RE: Barnacle Goose Records [Ted Floyd ]
30 Jul Re: Barnacle Goose Records [Steven Mlodinow ]
30 Jul Re: Fw: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records [Kurt Radamaker ]
30 Jul RE: Barnacle Goose Records [Ted Floyd ]
30 Jul RE: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["McCormac, Jim" ]
30 Jul Re: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records [Kurt Radamaker ]
30 Jul Re: Fw: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records [Matt Garvey ]
30 Jul Fw: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["Alan Wormington" ]
30 Jul RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["Geoff Malosh" ]
30 Jul Re: Barnacle Goose Records [Steven Mlodinow ]
29 Jul RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["Kurt Radamaker" ]
30 Jul Fw: RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["Alan Wormington" ]
30 Jul RE: Barnacle Goose Records ["Geoff Malosh" ]
29 Jul Barnacle Goose Records [Ryan Brady ]
09 Jul New to the Official List of MD Birds - Herald Petrel and White-tailed Tropicbird [Phil Davis ]
21 May Update from the 2013 OBRC Policy meeting [Brandon Holden ]
03 May Re: Voting on "continuing" and "repeat" records [Joseph Morlan ]
2 May Voting on "continuing" and "repeat" records ["Martin Meyers" ]
27 Mar RE: Seeking info on N.American penguin sightings ["Geoff Malosh" ]
26 Mar Seeking info on N.American penguin sightings [Matt Bartels ]
12 Mar Re: Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist [William Rowe ]
12 Mar Species pairs continued [William Rowe ]
12 Mar RE: Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist ["Geoff Malosh" ]

Subject: News from the California Bird Records Committee
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 14:11:55 -0500
Hi BRCF-L:

FYI. Cross-posted from CALBIRDS with permission from Kimball ...

Phil


>News from the California Bird Records Committee
>     Posted by: "Kimball Garrett" kgarrett AT nhm.org kimballgarrett
>     Date: Mon Feb 9, 2015 2:54 pm ((PST))
>
>The California Bird Records Committee held its annual meeting at the 
>Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo on 23-24 
>January. The following items resulting from that meeting will be of 
>interest to California birders:
>
>Changes to the STATE LIST:
>
>Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) is removed and replaced with 
>Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis/examinandus); 
>at present it is uncertain which of these taxa has occurred in 
>California. The species pair Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf Warbler is also 
>added to the review list.
>
>Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris) is added to the state list 
>(and review list) following the acceptance of the bird at the Salton 
>Sea, Imperial Co. 19 Oct 2013 (CBRC record #2013-181); the species 
>pair Taiga/Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser fabalis/serrirostris) is removed 
>from the state list.
>
>Changes to the REVIEW LIST:
>
>Taiga/Tundra Bean-Goose is moved from the main Review List to the 
>supplemental list of reviewed "species groups and hybrid taxa" at 
>the end of the Review List
>
>Frigatebird sp. is removed from the "species groups and hybrid taxa" 
>supplemental review list and replaced with Magnificent/Great/Lesser 
>Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens/minor/ariel)
>
>Blue-footed Booby and Yellow-green Vireo are removed from the Review List
>
>COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP:
>
>Voting members Jon Dunn, Peter Pyle and Steve Rottenborn rotated off 
>the Committee
>
>Lauren Harter, Kristie Nelson, and Scott Terrill were elected to the 
>Committee as voting members
>
>Joe Morlan was re-elected as CBRC Chair
>
>Dan Singer was re-elected as CBRC Vice-Chair
>
>Finally, and most importantly, Guy McCaskie retired as Secretary 
>after serving in that role since 2001.
>Tom Benson was elected to replace Guy as Secretary; all 
>documentation of CBRC review species should now go to Tom Benson at 
>secretary AT californiabirds.org
>
>These changes to the State List, Review List, and Committee 
>membership have been made on the CBRC web site by webmaster Joe Morlan; see:
>http://californiabirds.org/
>
>In particular, note the tribute to outgoing secretary Guy McCaskie at:
>http://californiabirds.org/GuyMcCaskie015.html
>
>Kimball L. Garrett
>[acting as CBRC spokesperson]
>Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
>900 Exposition Blvd.
>Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
>(213) 763-3368
>kgarrett AT nhm.org


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: Re: database of captive birds?
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:10:57 -0800
Start with www2.isis.org. Request information on member holdings using the 
email contact at lower right. 


More to the point is falconry escapes. There is a website where falconers post 
lost and found. Do a google search or try falconfinders.com. 


Good luck.

Sent from my iPad

> On Jan 28, 2015, at 12:43 PM, Chris Hill  wrote:
> 
> Hi All,
> 
> The South Carolina Bird Records Committee is evaluating a report, well 
photographed, of a Crested Caracara just 11 days ago. I think in the past, as 
with the Hooded Crane, people have been able to say how many of a particular 
species were kept in captivity. Can anyone point me towards ways of assessing 
that for Caracaras? I doubt there is an on line database of zoo birds, let 
alone privately held birds, but…where would I start? 

> 
> Chris
> 
> ************************************************************************
> Christopher E. Hill
> Biology Department
> Coastal Carolina University
> Conway, SC 29528-1954
> 843-349-2567
> chill AT coastal.edu
> http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
Subject: database of captive birds?
From: Chris Hill <chill AT coastal.edu>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:43:08 -0500
Hi All,

The South Carolina Bird Records Committee is evaluating a report, well 
photographed, of a Crested Caracara just 11 days ago. I think in the past, as 
with the Hooded Crane, people have been able to say how many of a particular 
species were kept in captivity. Can anyone point me towards ways of assessing 
that for Caracaras? I doubt there is an on line database of zoo birds, let 
alone privately held birds, but…where would I start? 


Chris

************************************************************************
Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu
http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm




Subject: MD/DC Records Committee Documentation Policy Changes
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 01:31:56 -0500
Hi BRCF-L:

Like most other records committee, the 
proliferation of eBird checklists, photo gallery 
web sites, blogs, and group/list email technology 
has created a challenge for our MD/DC Records 
Committee in dealing with the surfeit of rarity 
documentation that is now available to us.

Although other committees' procedures and 
policies are certainly different from ours here, 
some may find the message, below, that I sent in 
October to our regional MD/DC birders to be of 
some interest. The message includes a link to a 
rather lengthy white paper that I prepared 
wherein I analyzed our current documentation 
environment in order to provide a subsequent 
framework for implementing policies and 
procedures changes. The white paper is rather 
arcane, but this is how I needed to approach this 
challenge, rather than just randomly blasting out some new policies.

Perhaps others might find the white paper to be helpful, in some way.

Phil



>Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:52:43 -0400
>To: MDbirding 
>From: Phil Davis 
>Subject: MD/DC Records Committee Documentation Policy Changes
>
>MD/DC Birders:
>
>Over the past few years, the quality and 
>availability of local rare bird documentation 
>have significantly expanded due to factors such 
>as the growth of eBird and the unlimited 
>subscription base of our MDBirding Google Group. 
>We now find more observers seeking out rare 
>birds and documenting them via digital images, 
>audio/video recordings, and written statements.
>
>These changes are positive and very beneficial; 
>however, now the MD/DC Records Committee 
>(MD/DCRC) needs to adapt some of its policies 
>and procedures to accommodate this increase in 
>the number of observers and the related documentation volume increase.
>
>The committee is implementing several external and internal policy changes:
>
>1. External Policy Changes:
>The following changes deal with how the 
>committee will now process documentation and communicate with observers:
>
>a. Observer Permission
>Previously, the MD/DCRC would seek permission 
>from new observers to use third party-obtained 
>documentation for its committee reviews and 
>archiving. Now, the committee will no longer 
>actively seek permission from new observers to 
>use descriptive documentation (written details, 
>images, A/V recordings); instead, the committee 
>will now presume that permission to use observer 
>documentation is implied when documentation is 
>posted to a public email group (e.g., MDBirding) 
>or to a public web site (e.g., eBird, photo sharing galleries, or blog sites).
>
>b. Observer Acknowledgements
>The committee previously (snail) mailed printed 
>acknowledgements to each observer who submitted 
>or allowed access to descriptive documentation. 
>Printed acknowledgements will no longer be 
>mailed; a new future process will be established 
>using emails, MDBirding posts, or some combination thereof. [Details TBD.]
>
>c. Observer Decision Notices
>The committee previously (snail) mailed printed 
>decision notices to each acknowledged observer 
>after an MD/DCRC review was completed. Printed 
>decision notices will no longer be mailed; a new 
>future process will be established using email, 
>MDBirding posts, or some combination thereof. [Details TBD.]
>
>
>2. Internal Changes:
>The following operational changes undergird how 
>the committee will process documentation and 
>communicate with observers. These operational 
>changes will be generally transparent to observers.
>
>a. Rarity Categories
>Regional rarities reports will now typically be 
>considered to fall into one of two basic 
>categories, with respect to the total amount of 
>documentation generated: Short-Stayer (SS)/Few 
>Observers, or Long-Stayer (LS)/Many Observers. 
>These category definitions provide a framework 
>upon which committee policies and procedures changes are based.
>
>b. Observer Categories
>Previously, within its internal processes and 
>procedures, the committee used no formal 
>observer categories; observers were either 
>acknowledged observers or unnamed (et al.) 
>observers, which indicated that other unnamed 
>observers were also reported to have seen the 
>bird(s). Observers will now fall into one of 
>three categories (for MD/DCRC internal processes and procedures purposes):
>
>- Observers of Record
>- Additional Observers
>- Casual Observers
>
>
>Summary
>The effect of these new procedures will soon be 
>evident as the committee Secretary (your humble 
>scribe) processes the documentation backlog for 
>some of this years long-staying/many observer 
>rarities, including the early 2014 Pink-footed 
>Geese and Western Tanager, and the Howard County Sabines Gull, among others.
>
>For any gluttons for punishment, I prepared a 
>rather arcane (and long) white paper to analyze 
>and detail the evolving documentation landscape 
>and to provide a framework for our revised policies and procedures.
>
>The white paper can be found here 
>
> 

>https://mddcrcresources.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/mddcrc-documentation-observer-white-paper.pdf 

>
>Thanks.
>
>Phil
>
>===================================================
>Phil Davis, Secretary
>MD/DC Records Committee
>2549 Vale Court
>Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
>301-261-0184
>mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
>
>MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
>===================================================
Subject: Re: Historical reference help - Aud Soc of NH Bull 1933
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:36:15 -0500
BRCF-L:

Got it! Thanks!

Phil


At 13:17 12/07/2014, Phil Davis wrote:
>(snip)
>
>We are putting the final touches on the western Atlantic NA 
>Albatross paper and we just discovered a new historical reference, 
>but it's not available locally (at the Smithsonian or PWRC 
>libraries) and I can't find it on-line.
>
>
>===================================================
>Phil Davis, Secretary
>MD/DC Records Committee
>2549 Vale Court
>Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
>301-261-0184
>mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
>
>MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
>===================================================
Subject: Historical reference help - Aud Soc of NH Bull 1933
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 2014 13:17:52 -0500
Hi BRCF-L:

We are putting the final touches on the western Atlantic NA Albatross 
paper and we just discovered a new historical reference, but it's not 
available locally (at the Smithsonian or PWRC libraries) and I can't 
find it on-line.

It's the Audubon Society of New Hampshire Bulletin vol 12 (from 1933, 
apparently).

WorldCat shows that it should available at the following libraries: 
AMNH, Yale Ornith, Harvard, and Dartmouth. If anyone happens to have 
direct access to a copy or have a contact at one of these libraries, 
please let me know and I'll provide the page numbers of interest. We 
would like to get the title and author of the note or article and a 
copy, scan, or transcript of the relevant albatross information (it's 
probably not very long).

This is the only reference we have not been able to track down.

We are on a bit of a tight schedule as we are trying to move this 
into production.

Thanks, in advance.

Phil


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: Re: What records are saved and how?
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2014 08:49:31 -0800
Stan,

In California, we keep everything permanently.  We consider it a primary
function of our committee to archive all documentation for all records for
all time. We also keep copies of votes generated by the committee.  The
intent is for future researchers to have access to these documents, much as
researchers have access to curated specimens in a museum. It is critical
that the documentation can be evaluated independently or reassessed if new
information comes to light in the future.  

To this end, we have a curatorial arrangement with a museum, the Western
Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.  They have fire-proof filing cabinets
which contain all of our records.  All records and votes are printed out by
the secretary and backed up digitally.  We keep all digital photos which
have been submitted. Most of our archives have digital copies on CD or DVD.
Depending on how the documentation is provided by the observers, we keep
information in a variety of digital formats including MSWord, PDF, email,
plain text, etc.  Photos are normally retained at full resolution in jpeg
format. We prefer that photos be submitted as separate JPEGs rather than
embedded in word processing documents. 

The secretary also periodically backs up a complete archive of all records
onto an external hard drive.  This backup is made available to the chair
and other interested members periodically, providing an additional layer of
redundancy.

There has been discussion about the potential loss of digitally stored
information.  CD's may not last forever.  Archival quality CD's may be a
good choice but are expensive. We are looking into the conversion of VHS
videos to DVD as time permits and the technology to do so is accessible.
But paper copies remain an important part of our archives.  Print and paper
is old technology, but with reasonable care, it can last for centuries.
We're not sure how long CD/DVD's will last. 

Thanks for bringing up this important issue.  It pains me to think that
records committee documentation might be discarded or assumed to be of no
value after a period of time.  We view sight/photo records as modern-day
replacements for voucher specimens and I believe they should be properly
curated and maintained for posterity, just as if they were actual museum
specimens.  


On Sun, 30 Nov 2014 09:21:03 -0500, Stan DeOrsey  wrote:

>I have a tough question, which I hope might generate a discussion with 
>new ideas. Is there a general consensus on what records should be kept, 
>for how long, and in what format?
>
>Paper records are becoming unwieldy and digital records as well. Do 
>committees keep both paper and digital or convert everything to one? For 
>those using digital, I assume PDFs are preferred, but what about MSWord 
>and other formats, do you "print" everything to PDFs? How about saved 
>emails, how are those kept?  And what about photos, jpgs, tiff, pdfs, 
>.... all the above? PDF photos generally have lower quality, are photos 
>saved as very large sized files?
>
>When you finally do clean out the file cabinet, what is saved? I assume 
>photos, good or bad as long as the species is identifiable are kept but 
>what about all the correspondence, and multiple photos of  the same 
>sighting, etc.? What if the species was but is no longer reviewed?
>
>And lastly, how are files, paper or digital, maintained when the 
>responsibility is handed to someone else? It seems each person has a 
>different idea (or skill) with digital data and tend to do it their way 
>which can only add to confusion.
>
>Thank you for any insights from someone overwhelmed with under organized 
>digital data, boxes of paper too!
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt
Subject: What records are saved and how?
From: Stan DeOrsey <jsmd AT att.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2014 09:21:03 -0500
I have a tough question, which I hope might generate a discussion with 
new ideas. Is there a general consensus on what records should be kept, 
for how long, and in what format?

Paper records are becoming unwieldy and digital records as well. Do 
committees keep both paper and digital or convert everything to one? For 
those using digital, I assume PDFs are preferred, but what about MSWord 
and other formats, do you "print" everything to PDFs? How about saved 
emails, how are those kept?  And what about photos, jpgs, tiff, pdfs, 
.... all the above? PDF photos generally have lower quality, are photos 
saved as very large sized files?

When you finally do clean out the file cabinet, what is saved? I assume 
photos, good or bad as long as the species is identifiable are kept but 
what about all the correspondence, and multiple photos of  the same 
sighting, etc.? What if the species was but is no longer reviewed?

And lastly, how are files, paper or digital, maintained when the 
responsibility is handed to someone else? It seems each person has a 
different idea (or skill) with digital data and tend to do it their way 
which can only add to confusion.

Thank you for any insights from someone overwhelmed with under organized 
digital data, boxes of paper too!

-- 
Stan DeOrsey  jsmd AT att.net
Subject: Re: Remotely sensed birds
From: Kurt Radamaker <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:43:56 -0800
Hi Chris, 

You bring up an interesting point. I have been pondering something similar 
lately. I have been pondering this because a similar subject has come up in the 
most recent edition of NABA, the North American Butterfly association 
publication. In an editorial by Jeff Glassberg, Jeff is asking about some 
unique circumstances around butterfly sightings and whether they would be 
considered countable as life ticks. 


At the national butterfly center in Texas there are several web cams positioned 
on flowers around the park that can be viewed real time on big screens from 
inside the visitor center. While inside the visitor center, someone spots a lep 
on the monitor that is a life butterfly. The person races out the door to 
photograph the bug, but by the time they get to the location the bug is gone, 
and not seen again. Would this be countable as a life butterfly? And if the 
butterfly happened to be a first Texas record would it be added to the state 
list? I suppose, that if the butterfly image was extracted from the web cam 
system it might be accepted as a first, but what if the video stream was not 
saved and the only accounts were from a few observers who viewed the bug on the 
video and then provided excellent written descriptions. Would it be accepted? 
The case above has a real chance of happening at the butterfly center in Texas. 
Since the park has opened several 

 species have been added to the Texas State list.

My position is, if a species physically occurs in a State, no matter how 
bizarre the circumstances, it should be counted. 


Kurt Radamaker 

--------------------------------------------
On Thu, 11/20/14, Chris Hill  wrote:

 Subject: [BRCF] Remotely sensed birds
 To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu
 Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 3:13 PM
 
 Hi,
 
 I’m chair of the South Carolina BRC, and I was just musing
 about seabirds.  With more birds carrrying satellite
 transmitters and geolocators, we may eventually have a
 satellite tracked bird of interest, perhaps even a first
 state record (Bermuda Petrel?) in South Carolina’s waters
 according to the readout from the technology, without the
 bird having been seen by humans in "our" waters.  Has
 anyone else dealt with this?  For bookkeeping, I’m
 not sure whether we should treat this as a normal report or
 not.  We have different categories on our state list
 (“Provisional 1,” “Provisional 2,”
 "Definitive”).  We could be pro-active and set up a
 category for the eventuality of a remotely detected bird, or
 say in advance that they get slotted into one of the
 existing categories, or just figure it out when the first
 report comes in.
 
 Anybody have thoughts on this question?
 
 CH
 
 ************************************************************************
 Christopher E. Hill
 Biology Department
 Coastal Carolina University
 Conway, SC 29528-1954
 843-349-2567
 chill AT coastal.edu
 http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm
 
 
 
 

Subject: Re: Remotely sensed birds
From: Matt Bartels <mattxyz AT earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:09:19 -0800
Hi Chris -
Here in Washington we've accepted one record of this sort, a Short-tailed 
Albatross. It was fully accepted and accepted as with any other documented 
observation - 

Here's the way we wrote it up in our [forthcoming] report:

Another bird was tracked via satellite transmitter through Washington waters as 
it moved south 25-29 September 2009 (STAL-2009-1; R. Suryan). The bird hatched 
on Torishima Island in the spring of 2009 and was translocated to Mukojima 
Island where it fledged in May. 


I believe the thought process was pretty straightforward: We had no question 
about the species identification, and trusted the data provided on location. So 
a known bird was known to be in Washington territorial waters at a specific 
time. As our mandate is to record the occurrence of birds in Washington, the 
issue of no birder being present to see the albatross was not an issue. 


Hope this helps,

Matt Bartels
Secretary, Washington BRC


On Nov 20, 2014, at 2:13 PM, Chris Hill wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> Im chair of the South Carolina BRC, and I was just musing about seabirds. 
With more birds carrrying satellite transmitters and geolocators, we may 
eventually have a satellite tracked bird of interest, perhaps even a first 
state record (Bermuda Petrel?) in South Carolinas waters according to the 
readout from the technology, without the bird having been seen by humans in 
"our" waters. Has anyone else dealt with this? For bookkeeping, Im not sure 
whether we should treat this as a normal report or not. We have different 
categories on our state list (Provisional 1, Provisional 2, "Definitive). 
We could be pro-active and set up a category for the eventuality of a remotely 
detected bird, or say in advance that they get slotted into one of the existing 
categories, or just figure it out when the first report comes in. 

> 
> Anybody have thoughts on this question?
> 
> CH
> 
> ************************************************************************
> Christopher E. Hill
> Biology Department
> Coastal Carolina University
> Conway, SC 29528-1954
> 843-349-2567
> chill AT coastal.edu
> http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
Subject: Remotely sensed birds
From: Chris Hill <chill AT coastal.edu>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:13:16 -0500
Hi,

I’m chair of the South Carolina BRC, and I was just musing about seabirds. 
With more birds carrrying satellite transmitters and geolocators, we may 
eventually have a satellite tracked bird of interest, perhaps even a first 
state record (Bermuda Petrel?) in South Carolina’s waters according to the 
readout from the technology, without the bird having been seen by humans in 
"our" waters. Has anyone else dealt with this? For bookkeeping, I’m not sure 
whether we should treat this as a normal report or not. We have different 
categories on our state list (“Provisional 1,” “Provisional 2,” 
"Definitive”). We could be pro-active and set up a category for the 
eventuality of a remotely detected bird, or say in advance that they get 
slotted into one of the existing categories, or just figure it out when the 
first report comes in. 


Anybody have thoughts on this question?

CH

************************************************************************
Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu
http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm




Subject: Re: Records committee autonomy
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:13:32 -0500
Joe, Phil, et al.:

I meant to reply right away...oh well.

In Missouri, maybe we're lucky, but there has never been any attempt to
meddle in our publications by the Board or anyone else in the Audubon
Society of Missouri, though we are in fact a committee of that organization
and funded by them (not that it costs them much).

We publish an annual report in the ASM quarterly journal The Bluebird.  I
write it (my biggest single job of the year) and then submit it to the
other six MBRC members for comments and proofreading. I accept some of what
they send me and dispute some; eventually we resolve it all, and I send it
to the editor of The Bluebird. Since it has already been gone over so
thoroughly by us, it is simply printed as received.  It also goes up on the
ASM web site, alongside previous years' reports.

Similarly, the Annotated Checklist of Missouri Birds, kept up to date on
line and produced in card form every so often, is entirely up to us in
terms of content. We have just finished a new printing of the latest
version, with assistance from the ASM in terms of quantity and print bids,
but no questioning whatever of the content.

I don't think we have any written guarantee of this kind of independence,
whether in the ASM bylaws, our own bylaws, or anywhere else, so I don't
know how to answer the question of how we ensure it --but it is certainly
the tradition and the tacit agreement in our state.  Frankly, I think if
anyone tried to do the kind of meddling that Joe hints at, we would all
quit.

Maybe it is relevant that the Chair of the MBRC is an ex officio member of
the ASM Board and attends its annual meetings.  So our point of view is
represented, and we could be alerted to any looming problems.  In my
experience, relations between the MBRC and our parent organization have
been good, even exemplary.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis

P.S.  We don't deal with copyright issues either.




On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 1:10 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:

>  Hi Joe:
>
> Sorry for the delay. I don't think I've seen any feedback on this
> question. A few minor comments from me, below ...
>
> At 20:05 04/12/2014, Joseph Morlan wrote:
>
> How to you ensure that the content of your publications, including annual
> reports, checklists, books, etc. are independent and free of control or
> meddling from your parent organizations?
>
>
> PCD: Our MD/DC Records Committee is charted by the Maryland Ornithological
> Society (MOS). Formal publication of our decisions is our Achilles heel.
> Earlier decision publications appeared in our MOS journal, *Maryland
> Birdlife*, which has been (and continues to be) edited by Chan Robbins.
> Routine/periodic decisions reports are prepared by the committee secretary
> (me) and submitted to our MOS newsletter (*The Maryland Yellowthroat*)
> editor. Typically, the publication editors will just review/edit factual
> items (names of people, names of locations, etc.) or English and either
> question or coordinate suggested changes with the author. We have a very
> good working relationship on all publications. The MOS, rather than the
> records committee, publishes the Maryland Field Checklist card, based on
> data generated by the records committee.
>
> If you have publications which are copyrighted by your parent
> organization, can they dictate or require you get their approval of their
> content?  What other control do they have over your publications?
>
>
> PCD: Thus far, we have not ventured into the world of copyrighted
> publications, so this is not an issue.
>
> Hope this helps ...
>
> Phil
>
>  ===================================================
> Phil Davis, Secretary
> MD/DC Records Committee
> 2549 Vale Court
> Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
> 301-261-0184
>  mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
>
>  MD/DCRC Web site:
> http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
>  
> ===================================================
>
Subject: Re: Records committee autonomy
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:10:19 -0400
Hi Joe:

Sorry for the delay. I don't think I've seen any feedback on this 
question. A few minor comments from me, below ...

At 20:05 04/12/2014, Joseph Morlan wrote:
>How to you ensure that the content of your publications, including 
>annual reports, checklists, books, etc. are independent and free of 
>control or meddling from your parent organizations?

PCD: Our MD/DC Records Committee is charted by the Maryland 
Ornithological Society (MOS). Formal publication of our decisions is 
our Achilles heel. Earlier decision publications appeared in our MOS 
journal, Maryland Birdlife, which has been (and continues to be) 
edited by Chan Robbins. Routine/periodic decisions reports are 
prepared by the committee secretary (me) and submitted to our MOS 
newsletter (The Maryland Yellowthroat) editor. Typically, the 
publication editors will just review/edit factual items (names of 
people, names of locations, etc.) or English and either question or 
coordinate suggested changes with the author. We have a very good 
working relationship on all publications. The MOS, rather than the 
records committee, publishes the Maryland Field Checklist card, based 
on data generated by the records committee.

>If you have publications which are copyrighted by your parent 
>organization, can they dictate or require you get their approval of 
>their content?  What other control do they have over your publications?

PCD: Thus far, we have not ventured into the world of copyrighted 
publications, so this is not an issue.

Hope this helps ...

Phil


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: Records committee autonomy
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:05:21 -0700
How to you ensure that the content of your publications, including annual
reports, checklists, books, etc. are independent and free of control or
meddling from your parent organizations?

If you have publications which are copyrighted by your parent organization,
can they dictate or require you get their approval of their content?  What
other control do they have over your publications?   

Thanks. 
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Martin Meyers" <nbrc AT gbbo.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 21:00:34 -0700
Since I’m a little late getting to this, I’ll try to provide the Nevada 
committee take on both of the issues – term limits and local vs. non-local 
membership. 


Like most of the committees that have reported in, we have term limits. We have 
six voting members (and I’m the non-voting secretary). Like several others, 
our member terms are three years, with the opportunity to serve two consecutive 
terms (subject to vote), after which the member must take one year off the 
committee. We have finally managed to get things organized to the point where 
no more than two members might rotate off the committee in any given year. 
(Unfortunately, the secretary position doesn’t have a term limit. I sometimes 
wish it did. But that’s another issue.) I think that public relations issues, 
as discussed by others, require us to maintain something like the current 
approach, even though I would very much prefer getting rid of the term limits 
altogether. 


We have some turnover that is not caused by term-limits as members move away or 
get too heavily involved in other stuff, like families, jobs, and other 
non-essential activities. ; < ) 


But more often the turnover results from term-limits. However, because a 
term-limited member is only required to be off the committee for one year, 
sometimes when one member is term-limited out, another is ready come back on. 


Through term limits or other means, we have been able to bring in new blood 
somewhat regularly, and that has worked out well. 


But the term limits have also caused considerable stress. We are a small state 
(population-wise) with a very small active birding community. The number of 
birders who are really qualified to serve on a committee is smaller yet. And 
among those, the number who want to serve on a committee is really quite tiny. 
We’ve managed thus far to keep the committee “staffed” with exceptionally 
good people, and, as discussed by others, we have been fortunate that those 
people are not only good technically, but also compatible and cooperative most 
of the time. But it has been a struggle. 


I think that the term-limit issue really hits states like ours very hard, as 
compared to states with large pools of qualified candidates. It really 
doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to take a very competent, and willing, 
member, and push them off the committee as a matter of “law.” But, as I 
said above, it probably helps (a little) in keeping the general birding public 
from accusing us of being an old-boys (and old-girls) network. But only a 
little! 


As to out-of-state members, our bylaws permit that, with only the proviso that 
“Residents of Nevada shall receive preference.” At present, we have one 
voting member living in Idaho, one in California, and the other four in Nevada. 
(And I live in California.) Just by coincidence, the two Californians live 
within about ten miles of the Nevada border. I completely agree with the 
sentiment expressed by others that, while an understanding of status and 
distribution issues in Nevada is very important, it is also extremely important 
that all members have considerable experience with the species that 
occasionally visit us from elsewhere – that’s kind of what we’re about, 
isn’t it? A perhaps more controversial question is whether it is important 
that the members have a reasonable knowledge of the people who make up the 
birding population of the state. It brings up the issue of whether all 
decisions should be handled as if they were submitted anonymously, which, of 
course, they are not. Perhaps a topic for another discussion. 


Martin

===================================
Martin Meyers
Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
==================================

---
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection 
is active. 

http://www.avast.com
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 20:52:17 -0500
I agree with Michael's general point.  Here we have occasionally considered
folks from adjoining states and have in fact had at least one or two on our
committee (Kansas comes to mind).  And there is no doubt that any North
American experience outside the state can make a member more helpful and a
better judge of some records. (E.g., I wouldn't feel very comfortable with
Ferruginous Hawk records if I hadn't been out west repeatedly.)

But also, there will inevitably be records that few or none of us can
really be sure about -- or maybe we have "educated opinions" but would
still like input from someone with real expertise -- and personally I don't
hesitate to ask for help on these from outside reviewers.  The need for
this may emerge in the course of discussion after a first vote, but
sometimes (as Secretary) I just go ahead and seek it in advance and include
the results when I circulate the record. The option of outside review is a
great way of augmenting the total knowledge base of the committee, even
though we have to make the final decisions.

Bill
St. Louis




On Sun, Mar 9, 2014 at 8:26 PM, Michael L. P. Retter wrote:

> Good points, Bill.
>
> When you mentioned, what "makes a good BRC member", you jogged a topic in
> my mind that I've meant to bring up here for a while.
>
> I think committees that limit themselves to members who bird almost
> exclusively in their jurisdictional areas are doing themselves a great
> disservice. Much of, if not the major, function of a records committee is
> to evaluate records of species which are accidental or very rare inside the
> area. A person who never birds outside that area, therefore, is probably
> not an ideal person to have on the committee. At least, a committee full of
> such persons will by definition have very little experience with the birds
> they're supposed to be experts on. What good is that? Yes, it's wonderful
> to have committee members who know well the intricacies local distribution
> and interpersonal relationships, but I think a truly well-functioning
> committee must have members who have spent a considerable amount of time
> birding outside--but not too far outside--the area. It makes no sense to
> put someone on the Indiana committee because of her expert Brazilian
> antbird identification skills, but the skills of a man who has lived in
> Colorado or Maine could well be ideal when it comes to ruling on a
> Ash-throated Flycatcher or a female King Eider, respectively. In fact, I
> see no reason that a committee member should necessarily live in the
> location served by the committee. I'm not proposing that committees should
> be made up largely of people from outside the area, but a small handful
> (say a nicely-distributed 3 out of 7?) could prove itself quite useful. It
> could also help alleviate the problem of finding enough skilled people to
> serve in some of the smaller-population areas.
>
> I'm interested to hear what others think.
>
>
> Michael L. P. Retter
> --------------------------
> W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN
> mlretter AT yahoo.com
> home: 765.838.3152
> cell: 309.824.7317
> http://xenospiza.com/
>
> Editor, Birder's Guide
> American Birding Association
> http://www.aba.org/birdersguide/
>
> Tour Leader, Tropical Birding
> http://www.tropicalbirding.com/
> ---------------------------
>
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* William Rowe 
> *To:* David Irons 
> *Cc:* "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu" 
> *Sent:* Sunday, March 9, 2014 9:10 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
>
> Dave et al.:
>
> From the variety of responses to your question, it looks like a majority
> of BRC's have term limits in one form or another, but some do not.
>  Missouri does not, despite perennial discussion about them, for one good
> reason: we don't know where all those new members would come from.  When we
> talk about possible candidates to fill vacancies (which do come up with
> some regularity for unpredictable reasons), we always find ourselves
> working with a fairly small handful of individuals.  I think this is a
> different situation from many of the other states that have responded, with
> Geoff's comments about our neighbor Illinois as a particular example.  We
> just don't have the same size pool of appropriate people who want to do it.
>
> Let me add that while a strong knowledge of bird distribution and
> identification is fundamental, it's not the only thing that makes a good
> BRC member.  I would add at least one other: the ability to deal with the
> birding public and with your fellow members in an objective but congenial
> way, without too thin a skin or too great a tendency to fly off the handle.
>  This limits the pool further. I can think of folks who are fine birders
> but who didn't seem right to us for this reason.
>
> I'll add further that this last criterion is not to be taken lightly.  We
> function really well as a group, and it's an enjoyable experience to have
> meetings and email discussions -- and I know from hearsay in many
> directions (and a bit of earlier experience here) that this is not always
> the case on BRC's.  Moreover (especially as Secretary) I am sensitive to
> the PR issues that Michael raises, but I think regular turnover is not the
> only way to guard against a negative image. It also matters a great deal
> how much the members are out there meeting and helping the birding
> community in whatever ways they can, and treating individuals as
> respectfully and cordially as possible in person and in correspondence.
>
> This all boils down to agreeing with term limits in theory, but we've
> postponed their adoption because of our present limitations on finding the
> right people. Hope this makes sense.
>
> Bill Rowe
> St. Louis
>
>
> On Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 10:11 PM, David Irons  wrote:
>
> Greetings All,
>
> The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term limits on
> members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have
> proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It
> will be discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are
> some committee members who are concerned that the committee will be
> weakened, or that a certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in
> committee membership. Right now, the committee seems to be pretty evenly
> split on this issue. In the interest of trying to pass this change, I have
> a couple of questions.
>
> 1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not
> having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did
> this create and how were those issues resolved.
>
> 2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
> 3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term
> limits?
>
> 4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your point of
> emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits?
>
> Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
> Dave Irons
> Oregon Bird Records Committee
>
>
>
>
>
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Michael L. P. Retter" <mlretter AT yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 18:26:32 -0700 (PDT)
Good points, Bill.

When you mentioned, what "makes a good BRC member", you jogged a topic in my 
mind that I've meant to bring up here for a while. 


I think committees that limit themselves to members who bird almost exclusively 
in their jurisdictional areas are doing themselves a great disservice. Much of, 
if not the major, function of a records committee is to evaluate records of 
species which are accidental or very rare inside the area. A person who never 
birds outside that area, therefore, is probably not an ideal person to have on 
the committee. At least, a committee full of such persons will by definition 
have very little experience with the birds they're supposed to be experts on. 
What good is that? Yes, it's wonderful to have committee members who know well 
the intricacies local distribution and interpersonal relationships, but I think 
a truly well-functioning committee must have members who have spent a 
considerable amount of time birding outside--but not too far outside--the area. 
It makes no sense to put someone on the Indiana committee because of her expert 
Brazilian antbird 

 identification skills, but the skills of a man who has lived in Colorado or 
Maine could well be ideal when it comes to ruling on a Ash-throated Flycatcher 
or a female King Eider, respectively. In fact, I see no reason that a committee 
member should necessarily live in the location served by the committee. I'm not 
proposing that committees should be made up largely of people from outside the 
area, but a small handful (say a nicely-distributed 3 out of 7?) could prove 
itself quite useful. It could also help alleviate the problem of finding enough 
skilled people to serve in some of the smaller-population areas. 


I'm interested to hear what others think.


Michael L. P. Retter 
-------------------------- 
W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN 
mlretter AT yahoo.com 
home:  765.838.3152 
cell:  309.824.7317 
http://xenospiza.com/ 

Editor, Birder's Guide 
American Birding Association 
http://www.aba.org/birdersguide/ 

Tour Leader, Tropical Birding 
http://www.tropicalbirding.com/ 
---------------------------


________________________________
 From: William Rowe 
To: David Irons  
Cc: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 


Dave et al.:

From the variety of responses to your question, it looks like a majority of 
BRC's have term limits in one form or another, but some do not. Missouri does 
not, despite perennial discussion about them, for one good reason: we don't 
know where all those new members would come from. When we talk about possible 
candidates to fill vacancies (which do come up with some regularity for 
unpredictable reasons), we always find ourselves working with a fairly small 
handful of individuals. I think this is a different situation from many of the 
other states that have responded, with Geoff's comments about our neighbor 
Illinois as a particular example. We just don't have the same size pool of 
appropriate people who want to do it. 


Let me add that while a strong knowledge of bird distribution and 
identification is fundamental, it's not the only thing that makes a good BRC 
member. I would add at least one other: the ability to deal with the birding 
public and with your fellow members in an objective but congenial way, without 
too thin a skin or too great a tendency to fly off the handle. This limits the 
pool further. I can think of folks who are fine birders but who didn't seem 
right to us for this reason. 


I'll add further that this last criterion is not to be taken lightly. We 
function really well as a group, and it's an enjoyable experience to have 
meetings and email discussions -- and I know from hearsay in many directions 
(and a bit of earlier experience here) that this is not always the case on 
BRC's. Moreover (especially as Secretary) I am sensitive to the PR issues that 
Michael raises, but I think regular turnover is not the only way to guard 
against a negative image. It also matters a great deal how much the members are 
out there meeting and helping the birding community in whatever ways they can, 
and treating individuals as respectfully and cordially as possible in person 
and in correspondence. 


This all boils down to agreeing with term limits in theory, but we've postponed 
their adoption because of our present limitations on finding the right people. 
Hope this makes sense. 


Bill Rowe
St. Louis



On Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 10:11 PM, David Irons  wrote:

Greetings All,
>
>
>The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term limits on 
members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have proposed 
a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It will be 
discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are some committee 
members who are concerned that the committee will be weakened, or that a 
certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, 
the committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the interest of 
trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions. 

>
>
>1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not having 
term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did this create 
and how were those issues resolved. 

>
>
>2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
>
>3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
>
>
>4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your point of 
emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits? 

>
>
>Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
>
>Dave Irons
>Oregon Bird Records Committee
>
> 
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 20:10:33 -0500
Dave et al.:

From the variety of responses to your question, it looks like a majority of
BRC's have term limits in one form or another, but some do not.  Missouri
does not, despite perennial discussion about them, for one good reason: we
don't know where all those new members would come from.  When we talk about
possible candidates to fill vacancies (which do come up with some
regularity for unpredictable reasons), we always find ourselves working
with a fairly small handful of individuals.  I think this is a different
situation from many of the other states that have responded, with Geoff's
comments about our neighbor Illinois as a particular example.  We just
don't have the same size pool of appropriate people who want to do it.

Let me add that while a strong knowledge of bird distribution and
identification is fundamental, it's not the only thing that makes a good
BRC member.  I would add at least one other: the ability to deal with the
birding public and with your fellow members in an objective but congenial
way, without too thin a skin or too great a tendency to fly off the handle.
 This limits the pool further. I can think of folks who are fine birders
but who didn't seem right to us for this reason.

I'll add further that this last criterion is not to be taken lightly.  We
function really well as a group, and it's an enjoyable experience to have
meetings and email discussions -- and I know from hearsay in many
directions (and a bit of earlier experience here) that this is not always
the case on BRC's.  Moreover (especially as Secretary) I am sensitive to
the PR issues that Michael raises, but I think regular turnover is not the
only way to guard against a negative image. It also matters a great deal
how much the members are out there meeting and helping the birding
community in whatever ways they can, and treating individuals as
respectfully and cordially as possible in person and in correspondence.

This all boils down to agreeing with term limits in theory, but we've
postponed their adoption because of our present limitations on finding the
right people. Hope this makes sense.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis


On Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 10:11 PM, David Irons  wrote:

> Greetings All,
>
> The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term limits on
> members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have
> proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It
> will be discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are
> some committee members who are concerned that the committee will be
> weakened, or that a certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in
> committee membership. Right now, the committee seems to be pretty evenly
> split on this issue. In the interest of trying to pass this change, I have
> a couple of questions.
>
> 1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not
> having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did
> this create and how were those issues resolved.
>
> 2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
> 3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term
> limits?
>
> 4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your point of
> emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits?
>
> Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
> Dave Irons
> Oregon Bird Records Committee
>
>
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Michael L. P. Retter" <mlretter AT yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 11:41:43 -0700 (PDT)
I just checked our bylaws (which had a major update in 2012), and found out I 
was mistaken with regard to the Chair. That position does (thankfully, in my 
opinion) have a term limit. Here's the relevant language. 


3.2 The Chair’s
term shall be a one-year renewable term ending December 31.
 
A)
A person elected Chair may be elected to no more than six consecutive termsand
must also be a member of the IBRC and, therefore, fit the quialifications
thereof. A Chair having served the maximum number of consecutive terms may 
serve again 

after the expiration of one year. 
 
And here is the language for the voting (non-Chair) members:

4.2 Number and
Term of Members
 
A)   The
IBRC shall consist of seven members appointed to staggered three-year terms in
three classes that are approximately equal. A member’s term will end on
December 31st of the year of expiration (or appointment).
 
B)    A
member serving a full three-year term is ineligible to serve on the committee
for a period of one year after the expiration of his/her current term. 



Michael L. P. Retter 
-------------------------- 
W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN 
mlretter AT yahoo.com 
home:  765.838.3152 
cell:  309.824.7317 
http://xenospiza.com/ 

Editor, Birder's Guide 
American Birding Association 
http://www.aba.org/birdersguide/ 

Tour Leader, Tropical Birding 
http://www.tropicalbirding.com/ 
---------------------------


________________________________
 From: Michael L. P. Retter 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 1:22 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 


Whoops. "Just done" = "just fine"
 


________________________________
 From: Michael L. P. Retter 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 1:20 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 


I currently serve as the Chair of the Indiana committee, which limits its seven 
members to non-consecutive 3-year terms. Like the U.S. Senate, there are three 
"classes" of members. In other words, at the end of any given year, 5/7, 5/7, 
or 4/7 of the committee carries over, provided there are no vacancies I think 
these terms limits are very important so as to help prevent stagnation and the 
"old boys' club" that is the (sometimes deserved) stereotype of records 
committees. And I think that battling this stereotype is the most important PR 
consideration for records committees. I have no doubt that a lack of term 
limits is working just done in some committees--but that will probably not 
always be the case. Any system without term limits that is only accountable to 
itself is a recipe for cronyism and stagnation. Absolute power, yadda yadda. 
That said, our Chair position (which is elected by the members, with the Chair 
having neither a vote nor the power of 

 nominating zirself) currently has no term limits, and perhaps this is 
something we should change.  

 
Michael L. P. Retter 
-------------------------- 
W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN 
mlretter AT yahoo.com 
home:  765.838.3152 
cell:  309.824.7317 
http://xenospiza.com/ 

Editor, Birder's Guide 
American Birding Association 
http://www.aba.org/birdersguide/ 

Tour Leader, Tropical Birding 
http://www.tropicalbirding.com/ 
---------------------------


________________________________
 From: Geoffrey A. Williamson 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 

The committee in Illinios (IORC - Illinois Ornithological Records 
Committee) functions with six members serving staggered
 three year 
terms, plus a secretary serving a one year term.  Members can serve 
for two consecutive three year terms but then must sit out for a year 
before serving another term.  The secretary may serve for an 
unlimited number of consecutive terms.  Nomination and election of 
members is done by current members plus the secretary, and nomination 
and election of the secretary is done by the members.

So far this system has functioned well, with no issues of continuity 
nor difficulties in finding qualified and willing members.  I view 
the term limits for members as a plus because it ensures "new blood" 
on the committee, and it makes it easy for this to happen by 
institutionalizing the practice. There is the opportunity for many 
years of service by a specific individual, though with one year gaps, 
and this has happened in practice.   The question of continuity for 
the secretary in
 IORC's system is now a separate question, because of 
the different process.  What has happened for us in fact has been 
many years continuous service by one individual as secretary.  IORC 
was formed in the last half of the 1980s, and if I am counting 
correctly we have our 4th secretary sitting in office today.

I do not think it would be healthy for a committee to have the same 
membership makeup for a long time, say 10 years or more, and the term 
limit prevents this with imposing an undue burden now adversely 
impacted the benefits of coninuity.

Geoff Williamson
IORC member & vice-secretary


At 11:11 PM 3/7/2014, David Irons wrote:
>Greetings All,
>
>The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term 
>limits on members. I know that most other North American BRCs have 
>them. I have proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for 
>OBRC members. It will be discussed and voted on at our upcoming 
>annual meeting. There are some committee members who are concerned 
>that the committee will be weakened, or that a certain degree of 
>chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, the 
>committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the 
>interest of trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions.
>
>1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from 
>not having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of 
>issues did this create and how were those issues resolved.
>
>2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
>3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
>
>4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your 
>point of emphasis be if you were
 advocating for the adoption of term limits?
>
>Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
>Dave Irons
>Oregon Bird Records Committee

Geoffrey A. Williamson
geoffrey.williamson AT comcast.net
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Michael L. P. Retter" <mlretter AT yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 10:22:09 -0700 (PDT)
Whoops. "Just done" = "just fine"



________________________________
 From: Michael L. P. Retter 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 1:20 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 


I currently serve as the Chair of the Indiana committee, which limits its seven 
members to non-consecutive 3-year terms. Like the U.S. Senate, there are three 
"classes" of members. In other words, at the end of any given year, 5/7, 5/7, 
or 4/7 of the committee carries over, provided there are no vacancies I think 
these terms limits are very important so as to help prevent stagnation and the 
"old boys' club" that is the (sometimes deserved) stereotype of records 
committees. And I think that battling this stereotype is the most important PR 
consideration for records committees. I have no doubt that a lack of term 
limits is working just done in some committees--but that will probably not 
always be the case. Any system without term limits that is only accountable to 
itself is a recipe for cronyism and stagnation. Absolute power, yadda yadda. 
That said, our Chair position (which is elected by the members, with the Chair 
having neither a vote nor the power of 

 nominating zirself) currently has no term limits, and perhaps this is 
something we should change. 


Michael L. P. Retter 
-------------------------- 
W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN 
mlretter AT yahoo.com 
home:  765.838.3152 
cell:  309.824.7317 
http://xenospiza.com/ 

Editor, Birder's Guide 
American Birding Association 
http://www.aba.org/birdersguide/ 

Tour Leader, Tropical Birding 
http://www.tropicalbirding.com/ 
---------------------------


________________________________
 From: Geoffrey A. Williamson 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 

The committee in Illinios (IORC - Illinois Ornithological Records 
Committee) functions with six members serving staggered three year 
terms, plus a secretary serving a one year term. Members can serve 
for two consecutive three year terms but then must sit out for a year 
before serving another term. The secretary may serve for an 
unlimited number of consecutive terms. Nomination and election of 
members is done by current members plus the secretary, and nomination 
and election of the secretary is done by the members.

So far this system has functioned well, with no issues of continuity 
nor difficulties in finding qualified and willing members. I view 
the term limits for members as a plus because it ensures "new blood" 
on the committee, and it makes it easy for this to happen by 
institutionalizing the practice. There is the opportunity for many 
years of service by a specific individual, though with one year gaps, 
and this has happened in practice.  The question of continuity for 
the secretary in
 IORC's system is now a separate question, because of 
the different process. What has happened for us in fact has been 
many years continuous service by one individual as secretary. IORC 
was formed in the last half of the 1980s, and if I am counting 
correctly we have our 4th secretary sitting in office today.

I do not think it would be healthy for a committee to have the same 
membership makeup for a long time, say 10 years or more, and the term 
limit prevents this with imposing an undue burden now adversely 
impacted the benefits of coninuity.

Geoff Williamson
IORC member & vice-secretary


At 11:11 PM 3/7/2014, David Irons wrote:
>Greetings All,
>
>The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term 
>limits on members. I know that most other North American BRCs have 
>them. I have proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for 
>OBRC members. It will be discussed and voted on at our upcoming 
>annual meeting. There are some committee members who are concerned 
>that the committee will be weakened, or that a certain degree of 
>chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, the 
>committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the 
>interest of trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions.
>
>1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from 
>not having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of 
>issues did this create and how were those issues resolved.
>
>2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
>3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
>
>4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your 
>point of emphasis be if you were
 advocating for the adoption of term limits?
>
>Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
>Dave Irons
>Oregon Bird Records Committee

Geoffrey A. Williamson
geoffrey.williamson AT comcast.net
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Michael L. P. Retter" <mlretter AT yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 10:20:37 -0700 (PDT)
I currently serve as the Chair of the Indiana committee, which limits its seven 
members to non-consecutive 3-year terms. Like the U.S. Senate, there are three 
"classes" of members. In other words, at the end of any given year, 5/7, 5/7, 
or 4/7 of the committee carries over, provided there are no vacancies I think 
these terms limits are very important so as to help prevent stagnation and the 
"old boys' club" that is the (sometimes deserved) stereotype of records 
committees. And I think that battling this stereotype is the most important PR 
consideration for records committees. I have no doubt that a lack of term 
limits is working just done in some committees--but that will probably not 
always be the case. Any system without term limits that is only accountable to 
itself is a recipe for cronyism and stagnation. Absolute power, yadda yadda. 
That said, our Chair position (which is elected by the members, with the Chair 
having neither a vote nor the power of 

 nominating zirself) currently has no term limits, and perhaps this is 
something we should change. 


Michael L. P. Retter 
-------------------------- 
W. Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN 
mlretter AT yahoo.com 
home:  765.838.3152 
cell:  309.824.7317 
http://xenospiza.com/ 

Editor, Birder's Guide 
American Birding Association 
http://www.aba.org/birdersguide/ 

Tour Leader, Tropical Birding 
http://www.tropicalbirding.com/ 
---------------------------


________________________________
 From: Geoffrey A. Williamson 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
 

The committee in Illinios (IORC - Illinois Ornithological Records 
Committee) functions with six members serving staggered three year 
terms, plus a secretary serving a one year term. Members can serve 
for two consecutive three year terms but then must sit out for a year 
before serving another term. The secretary may serve for an 
unlimited number of consecutive terms. Nomination and election of 
members is done by current members plus the secretary, and nomination 
and election of the secretary is done by the members.

So far this system has functioned well, with no issues of continuity 
nor difficulties in finding qualified and willing members. I view 
the term limits for members as a plus because it ensures "new blood" 
on the committee, and it makes it easy for this to happen by 
institutionalizing the practice. There is the opportunity for many 
years of service by a specific individual, though with one year gaps, 
and this has happened in practice.  The question of continuity for 
the secretary in IORC's system is now a separate question, because of 
the different process. What has happened for us in fact has been 
many years continuous service by one individual as secretary. IORC 
was formed in the last half of the 1980s, and if I am counting 
correctly we have our 4th secretary sitting in office today.

I do not think it would be healthy for a committee to have the same 
membership makeup for a long time, say 10 years or more, and the term 
limit prevents this with imposing an undue burden now adversely 
impacted the benefits of coninuity.

Geoff Williamson
IORC member & vice-secretary


At 11:11 PM 3/7/2014, David Irons wrote:
>Greetings All,
>
>The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term 
>limits on members. I know that most other North American BRCs have 
>them. I have proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for 
>OBRC members. It will be discussed and voted on at our upcoming 
>annual meeting. There are some committee members who are concerned 
>that the committee will be weakened, or that a certain degree of 
>chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, the 
>committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the 
>interest of trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions.
>
>1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from 
>not having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of 
>issues did this create and how were those issues resolved.
>
>2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
>3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
>
>4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your 
>point of emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits?
>
>Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
>Dave Irons
>Oregon Bird Records Committee

Geoffrey A. Williamson
geoffrey.williamson AT comcast.net
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: Chris Hill <chill AT coastal.edu>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 12:28:08 -0400
We just considered term limits for the South Carolina BRC and decided against 
them. It would be solution to a non-existent problem, we decided. Were happy 
to have the long-serving people that we do have, and while having them rotate 
off for a term wouldnt be all that disruptive, we have enough turnover as is, 
and havent heard any complaints that were fossilized (or that anyone is stuck 
off the committee and wants to get on - quite the opposite, really). 


Chris Hill
SC BRC


On Mar 7, 2014, at 11:11 PM, David Irons  wrote:

> Greetings All,
> 
> The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term limits on 
members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have proposed 
a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It will be 
discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are some committee 
members who are concerned that the committee will be weakened, or that a 
certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, 
the committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the interest of 
trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions. 

> 
> 1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not 
having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did this 
create and how were those issues resolved. 

> 
> 2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits? 
> 
> 3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
> 
> 4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your point of 
emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits? 

> 
> Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
> 
> Dave Irons
> Oregon Bird Records Committee

************************************************************************
Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu
http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm




Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Geoffrey A. Williamson" <geoffrey.williamson AT comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2014 11:13:22 -0500
The committee in Illinios (IORC - Illinois Ornithological Records 
Committee) functions with six members serving staggered three year 
terms, plus a secretary serving a one year term.  Members can serve 
for two consecutive three year terms but then must sit out for a year 
before serving another term.  The secretary may serve for an 
unlimited number of consecutive terms.  Nomination and election of 
members is done by current members plus the secretary, and nomination 
and election of the secretary is done by the members.

So far this system has functioned well, with no issues of continuity 
nor difficulties in finding qualified and willing members.  I view 
the term limits for members as a plus because it ensures "new blood" 
on the committee, and it makes it easy for this to happen by 
institutionalizing the practice. There is the opportunity for many 
years of service by a specific individual, though with one year gaps, 
and this has happened in practice.   The question of continuity for 
the secretary in IORC's system is now a separate question, because of 
the different process.  What has happened for us in fact has been 
many years continuous service by one individual as secretary.  IORC 
was formed in the last half of the 1980s, and if I am counting 
correctly we have our 4th secretary sitting in office today.

I do not think it would be healthy for a committee to have the same 
membership makeup for a long time, say 10 years or more, and the term 
limit prevents this with imposing an undue burden now adversely 
impacted the benefits of coninuity.

Geoff Williamson
IORC member & vice-secretary


At 11:11 PM 3/7/2014, David Irons wrote:
>Greetings All,
>
>The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term 
>limits on members. I know that most other North American BRCs have 
>them. I have proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for 
>OBRC members. It will be discussed and voted on at our upcoming 
>annual meeting. There are some committee members who are concerned 
>that the committee will be weakened, or that a certain degree of 
>chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, the 
>committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the 
>interest of trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions.
>
>1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from 
>not having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of 
>issues did this create and how were those issues resolved.
>
>2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits?
>
>3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
>
>4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your 
>point of emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits?
>
>Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>
>Dave Irons
>Oregon Bird Records Committee

Geoffrey A. Williamson
geoffrey.williamson AT comcast.net
Subject: RE: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT msn.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 16:06:15 +0000
Steve,
I'm sure that there are already lots of folks who are convinced that those of 
us running BRCs are nimrods:) 

Dave Irons

> CC: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu
> From: sgmlod AT aol.com
> Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 09:51:36 -0600
> To: billwhan AT columbus.rr.com
> Subject: Re: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
> 
> Greetings All
> Bill's suggestion is excellent except that it does not help with the illusion 
to outsiders that it's a "Old Boys Club". But if we put membership to a general 
vote, then we'd have all if those nimrods who dominate listservs sans knowledge 
running the BRC!! 

> Steve Mlodinow
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> > On Mar 8, 2014, at 9:18 AM, Bill Whan  wrote:
> > 
> > I hew most closely to Alan Wormington's suggestion. I have served four 
terms or so on Ohio's RC, and have been re-elected after a one-year retirement 
each time, as have several others, because our rules require regular off-years 
retirements. 

> >     I wonder if anyone has tried a hybrid system, in which routine
> > n-year terms are mandated, but a sitting member at the end of his or her 
term may join the list of candidates nominated for the next term (but not to 
vote for him-/herself)? Years ago, our committee's system required a vote among 
the subscribers to the state journal; we finally abandoned this system 
after--apparently--one candidate or others seemed to have stuffed the ballot 
box! Now, it's strictly a committee vote. One interesting alternative 
arrangement to this might be to allow the entire list of present and past RC 
members to vote. 

> > Anyway, good committee members are hard to find and retain, and it makes 
sense to include them as candidates in election if they offer to continue. 
Never have we elected members without credentials, but most often former 
members who were not diligent about voting on time, or who failed to present 
cogent rationales for decisions, have failed to receive votes. I'm not sure it 
makes sense to eliminate from candidacy those who have served well. I am well 
aware that the fame, glory, and money associated with such service may attract 
the unworthy, 

> > but feel sure no one is more qualified to ignore such considerations than 
the RC members themselves. 

> > Bill Whan
> > 
 		 	   		  
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: Steven Mlodinow <sgmlod AT aol.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2014 09:51:36 -0600
Greetings All
Bill's suggestion is excellent except that it does not help with the illusion 
to outsiders that it's a "Old Boys Club". But if we put membership to a general 
vote, then we'd have all if those nimrods who dominate listservs sans knowledge 
running the BRC!! 

Steve Mlodinow

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 8, 2014, at 9:18 AM, Bill Whan  wrote:
> 
> I hew most closely to Alan Wormington's suggestion. I have served four terms 
or so on Ohio's RC, and have been re-elected after a one-year retirement each 
time, as have several others, because our rules require regular off-years 
retirements. 

>     I wonder if anyone has tried a hybrid system, in which routine
> n-year terms are mandated, but a sitting member at the end of his or her term 
may join the list of candidates nominated for the next term (but not to vote 
for him-/herself)? Years ago, our committee's system required a vote among the 
subscribers to the state journal; we finally abandoned this system 
after--apparently--one candidate or others seemed to have stuffed the ballot 
box! Now, it's strictly a committee vote. One interesting alternative 
arrangement to this might be to allow the entire list of present and past RC 
members to vote. 

> Anyway, good committee members are hard to find and retain, and it makes 
sense to include them as candidates in election if they offer to continue. 
Never have we elected members without credentials, but most often former 
members who were not diligent about voting on time, or who failed to present 
cogent rationales for decisions, have failed to receive votes. I'm not sure it 
makes sense to eliminate from candidacy those who have served well. I am well 
aware that the fame, glory, and money associated with such service may attract 
the unworthy, 

> but feel sure no one is more qualified to ignore such considerations than the 
RC members themselves. 

> Bill Whan
> 
Subject: Re: Fw: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: Bill Whan <billwhan AT columbus.rr.com>
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 11:18:10 -0500
I hew most closely to Alan Wormington's suggestion. I have served four 
terms or so on Ohio's RC, and have been re-elected after a one-year 
retirement each time, as have several others, because our rules require 
regular off-years retirements.
	 I wonder if anyone has tried a hybrid system, in which routine
n-year terms are mandated, but a sitting member at the end of his or her 
term may join the list of candidates nominated for the next term (but 
not to vote for him-/herself)? Years ago, our committee's system 
required a vote among the subscribers to the state journal; we finally 
abandoned this system after--apparently--one candidate or others seemed 
to have stuffed the ballot box! Now, it's strictly a committee vote. One 
interesting alternative arrangement to this might be to allow the entire 
list of present and past RC members to vote.
	Anyway, good committee members are hard to find and retain, and it 
makes sense to include them as candidates in election if they offer to 
continue. Never have we elected members without credentials, but most 
often former members who were not diligent about voting on time, or who 
failed to present cogent rationales for decisions, have failed to 
receive votes. I'm not sure it makes sense to eliminate from candidacy 
those who have served well. I am well aware that the fame, glory, and 
money associated with such service may attract the unworthy,
but feel sure no one is more qualified to ignore such considerations 
than the RC members themselves.
Bill Whan
Subject: Term Limits
From: Milt Moody <miltonmoody AT yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 05:49:10 -0800 (PST)
Greetings,


Utah has a system that I think has a good balance between term limits and 
continuity. I've been working with the committee mostly as webmaster for about 
15 years -- I was the secretary for four year. Our system has gradually 
developed into the following: 


We have nine voting members on our committee. They have three-year terms, but 
can be re-elected for a second straight term. In essence it turns out to be 
six-year terms before they have to "sit out" at least a year. Almost everyone 
has had 6 years straight, except when a member has declines a second term or 
was not re-elected, which hasn't happen often, but has happened and in my 
opinion turned out to be appropriate and for the best of the committee. 


Continuity has come from long terms plus developing the bylaws so they fix the 
changing situation created by the use of the internet. 


Our committee is working better than ever right now.

Milt Moody
Utah Bird Records Committee Webmaster
Subject: Re: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: Steven Mlodinow <sgmlod AT aol.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 22:00:43 -0700
Greetings All
I like the WA BRC solution. One person rotates off annually. Typically the 
person with the longest tenure. That person can return after a one year absence 
if the BRC and the individual are both interested in such. That avoids too much 
disruption from year to year, but also allows for a steady infusion of fresh 
"blood" so to speak 

Cheers
Steve Mlodinow 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 7, 2014, at 9:26 PM, "Alan Wormington"  wrote:
> 
> David and all,
>  
> I have been thinking about this lately in respect to the Ontario Bird Records 
Committee (OBRC). 

>  
> Currently 7 voting members with 3-year terms. In a nutshell, I don't like it! 
The reason being, some years there are three members leaving the committee, 
which is almost half the committee itself. This situation does not generate 
good continuity --- in other words, constant turnover. It creates an 
environment where, other than voting on records, not much else gets 
accomplished. 

>  
> The original idea for term limits (in Ontario) was so that "problem" members 
(if they exist) would leave the committee after three years. Plus, supposedly, 
it was to demonstrate to the birding community that members are not members 
forever (the invalid "Old Boys Club" mentality). But this is a joke, since the 
vast majority of the birding community has no clue how a records committee even 
functions. 

>  
> Here is an idea I have been thinking about. Why not a 5-member voting 
committee, with 5-year terms? Under that scenario, every year only ONE member 
would need to be replaced. 

>  
> So to sort of answer your questions, I very much like the idea of either no 
term limits or long term limits. Surely it makes sense ... you want the best 
people on the committee for as long as possible. 

>  
> Alan Wormington
> Leamington, Ontario
>  
>  
>  
>  
> 
> 
> ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
> From: David Irons 
> To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu" 
> Subject: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
> Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 04:11:06 +0000
> 
> Greetings All,
>  
> The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term limits on 
members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have proposed 
a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It will be 
discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are some committee 
members who are concerned that the committee will be weakened, or that a 
certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. Right now, 
the committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the interest of 
trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions. 

>  
> 1. Have any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not 
having term limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did this 
create and how were those issues resolved. 

>  
> 2. What do you view as the primary advantages to having term limits? 
>  
> 3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of having term limits?
>  
> 4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would your point of 
emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term limits? 

>  
> Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.
>  
> Dave Irons
> Oregon Bird Records Committee
>  
Subject: Fw: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: "Alan Wormington" <wormington AT juno.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 04:26:41 GMT
David and all, I have been thinking about this lately in respect to the Ontario 
Bird Records Committee (OBRC). Currently 7 voting members with 3-year terms. In 
a nutshell, I don't like it! The reason being, some years there are three 
members leaving the committee, which is almost half the committee itself. This 
situation does not generate good continuity --- in other words, constant 
turnover. It creates an environment where, other than voting on records, not 
much else gets accomplished. The original idea for term limits (in Ontario) was 
so that "problem" members (if they exist) would leave the committee after three 
years. Plus, supposedly, it was to demonstrate to the birding community that 
members are not members forever (the invalid "Old Boys Club" mentality). But 
this is a joke, since the vast majority of the birding community has no clue 
how a records committee even functions. Here is an idea I have been thinking 
about. Why not a 5-member voting committee, with 5-year terms? Under that 
scenario, every year only ONE member would need to be replaced. So to sort of 
answer your questions, I very much like the idea of either no term limits or 
long term limits. Surely it makes sense ... you want the best people on the 
committee for as long as possible. Alan WormingtonLeamington, Ontario 


---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: David Irons 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu" 
Subject: [BRCF] Term Limits Pros and Cons
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 04:11:06 +0000


Greetings All, The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term 
limits on members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have 
proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It will 
be discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are some 
committee members who are concerned that the committee will be weakened, or 
that a certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. 
Right now, the committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the 
interest of trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions. 1. Have 
any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not having term 
limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did this create and 
how were those issues resolved. 2. What do you view as the primary advantages 
to having term limits? 3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages 
of having term limits? 4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what 
would your point of emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term 
limits? Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic. Dave IronsOregon Bird 
Records Committee 
Subject: Term Limits Pros and Cons
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT msn.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 04:11:06 +0000
Greetings All,The Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC) has never imposed term 
limits on members. I know that most other North American BRCs have them. I have 
proposed a bylaws change that would add term limits for OBRC members. It will 
be discussed and voted on at our upcoming annual meeting. There are some 
committee members who are concerned that the committee will be weakened, or 
that a certain degree of chaos comes from turnover in committee membership. 
Right now, the committee seems to be pretty evenly split on this issue. In the 
interest of trying to pass this change, I have a couple of questions.1. Have 
any of your experienced being on a committee that went from not having term 
limits to having term limits? If so, what sort of issues did this create and 
how were those issues resolved.2. What do you view as the primary advantages to 
having term limits? 3. What do you view as being the primary disadvantages of 
having term limits?4. If you serve on a committee with term limits, what would 
your point of emphasis be if you were advocating for the adoption of term 
limits?Thanks in advance for any feedback on this topic.Dave IronsOregon Bird 
Records Committee 

 		 	   		  
Subject: CBRC adds Marsh Sandpiper, Common Swift to California list
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2014 01:40:12 -0500
BRCF-L:

FYI ...

Phil

>Date: 4 Feb 2014 08:34:20 -0000
>From: CALBIRDS AT yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [CALBIRDS] Digest Number 3672
>1a. CBRC adds Marsh Sandpiper, Common Swift to California list
>     Posted by: "Kimball Garrett" kgarrett AT nhm.org kimballgarrett
>     Date: Mon Feb 3, 2014 10:17 am ((PST))
>
>Birders,
>
>The California Bird Records Committee has accepted the record 
>(#2013-192) of a Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis, near Mecca, 
>Riverside Co. 26 Oct 2013, and the record (#2013-195) of a Common 
>Swift, Apus apus, near Desert Center, Riverside Co. 30 Oct 
>2013.  These two additions bring the California checklist to 657 
>species (646 naturally-occurring plus 11 introduced). CBRC Chair and 
>webmaster Joseph Morlan has updated the web site to reflect these changes:
>
>http://www.californiabirds.org/list.html
>Note that Marsh Sandpiper is placed on the checklist immediately 
>after Lesser Yellowlegs; Common Swift is placed immediately after 
>Vaux's Swift. Both are added to the CBRC review list as well.
>
>Another potential new California record is currently in circulation 
>(record #2013-181 of a Tundra Bean-Goose, Anser serrirostris, at 
>Unit 1 of the Salton Sea NWR, Imperial Co. 19 Oct 2013); if this 
>record is accepted as Tundra Bean-Goose, the current checklist taxon 
>"Taiga/Tundra Bean-Goose, Anser fabalis/serrirostris, will be 
>removed, so there will be no net gain in the species total.
>
>Kimball L. Garrett
>"CBRC Press Secretary"
>Ornithology Collections Manager
>Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
>900 Exposition Blvd.
>Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
>kgarrett AT nhm.org
>http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/ornithology


>1b. Re: CBRC adds Marsh Sandpiper, Common Swift to California list
>     Posted by: "wl_rockey" wlrockey AT gmail.com wl_rockey
>     Date: Mon Feb 3, 2014 1:23 pm ((PST))
>
>If I'm not mistaken, both these records (and potentially the Tundra 
>Bean-Goose) are first records for the lower 48 as well!
>
>William Rockey

===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: News from the California Bird Records Committee
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 14:05:05 -0500
Hi BRCF-L:

FYI. The message below is an update from the 
California BRC, cross-posted with their permission.

I would encourage other committees to post news 
and operational updates here since one of the 
primary list objectives is the sharing of records committees' "best practices."

Thanks. Happy New Year!

Phil


>Date: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:02 am ((PST))
>From: "Kimball Garrett" 
>To: CALBIRDS AT yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [CALBIRDS] News from the California Bird Records Committee
>
>Birders,
>
>The Western Field Ornithologists' California 
>Bird Records Committee held its annual meeting 
>on 17-18 January 2014 in Los Gatos. Below is a 
>brief summary of actions, compiled by Committee 
>Chair Joseph Morlan, relating to committee 
>membership, the state list, and the review list.
>
>The CBRC web 
>site  http://www.californiabirds.org  has been 
>updated by webmaster Joseph Morlan to reflect these actions.
>
>Brian Daniels, John Garrett and Jim Tietz were 
>elected to three-year terms on the Committee. We 
>welcome back Jim who has served previously and 
>has continued to help with the on-line CBRC 
>database. Brian and John will be serving their 
>first terms on the Committee. Rotating off the 
>committee are Kristie Nelson, Jim Pike and Scott 
>Terrill. Joseph Morlan will continue as Chair, 
>Dan Singer as vice-chair and Guy McCaskie as CBRC Secretary.
>
>Among various by-law revisions was approval of a 
>provision to change the northern offshore 
>boundary with Oregon to the area where the 
>nearest point of land is within 200 nautical 
>miles of the California coast. The area south of 
>42N latitude had been used in the past. This 
>change will eliminate a small wedge of offshore 
>waters that were previously considered part of 
>our California waters, but apparently only a 
>single accepted record (of a "Dark-rumped" Petrel) has occurred in that area.
>
>The committee voted to create a new category 
>(RI) for the California Condor to indicate 
>reintroduction in progress. This species was 
>formerly listed as extirpated (E). Also Nazca 
>Booby was removed from the Supplemental List of 
>species which are of uncertain natural 
>occurrence (the rationale being that the 
>Supplemental List is for species whose 
>provenance is uncertain, whereas we know exactly
>what happened with the ship-assisted Nazca Booby).
>
>One species group ("frigatebird sp.") was added 
>to the review list  based on a vote at the 2013 
>meeting, while three species and one species pair were removed.
>
>Removed were:
>Hawaiian Petrel and Galapagos/Hawaiian Petrel (now regular offshore)
>Neotropic Cormorant (increasing rapidly in the Imperial Valley, breeding).
>Pine Warbler (regular winter visitor in coastal Southern California).
>
>Records of these species beginning 1 January 
>2014 will not be reviewed by the Committee. 
>However, we continue to urge those who observe 
>these species (and all other rarities) in 
>California to thoroughly document sightings and 
>provide details to the appropriate North 
>American Birds regional or sub-regional editors as well as through eBird.
>
>Among many additional topics discussed was the 
>desire for photo submissions to be in the form 
>of separate JPEG's with the original metadata 
>(exif) generated by digital cameras rather than 
>(or in addition to) embedded in word processing 
>documents. We continue to urge observers to 
>provide written context with all photo 
>submissions, including circumstances of the 
>sighting, description of behaviors and 
>vocalizations, and anything else not evident in 
>photographs. A revised submission form was 
>approved and is available on our web site.
>
>Lastly the committee is seeking a volunteer who 
>is familiar with programming in MS Access to 
>help us with our database.  We need help 
>creating queries and macros, and updating tables.  Please contact Joe
>Morlan (jmorlan AT gmail.com) if you think you can help.
>
>We are grateful to H. T. Harvey and Associates 
>for hosting the meeting and generously supplying 
>the sandwiches and pizza that got us through 
>many long discussions; many thanks to CBRC 
>members Steve Rottenborn and Scott Terrill for 
>arranging this. The CBRC thanks its outgoing 
>members for their service, and all of the 
>observers who have submitted documentation of 
>records to the CBRC over the past year.
>
>This news posted by the CBRC "press secretary":
>Kimball L. Garrett
>Ornithology Collections Manager
>Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
>900 Exposition Blvd.
>Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
>kgarrett AT nhm.org
>http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/ornithology

===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: Kurt Radamaker <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 15:25:22 -0800 (PST)
Hi Joe,
 
Great post; 
 
The AZ online submission system went live in 2008, so I only have readily 
available data since then. The following numbers are total submissions, where 
in some cases multiple submissions may be for an individual review species, 
none-the-less we have to review each submission, since it generally contains 
additional photos or pertinent documentation. 

 
2008 = 129
2009 = 288
2010 = 181
2011 = 341
2012 = 209
2013 = 204
2014 = 1 ;-)
 
Maybe we need to trim the review list :-0
 
 
Kurt Radamaker
 

________________________________
 From: Joseph Morlan 
To: "brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu"  
Sent: Monday, January 6, 2014 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
  

It seems to me that most rarity numbers suffer from inflation caused at
least in part by growing human population and/or percentage of the
population who are birders capable of identifying rarities.  

California's review list guideline is 40 or fewer records in the past
decade.  When there are 100 records total we routinely review whether the
species still qualifies for the review list.  We also review the criteria
for review list inclusion at least every five years.  

Your comment about the "old days" reminded me that California's first
White-throated Sparrow was collected December 23, 1888.  The second Record
was the following year in 1889 while the third record was in 1891.  By 1921
there had been a total of 19 California records over a 33 year period.   It
thus easily qualified as a CBRC review species during that time although
there would not be a CBRC for another 50 years. Today there are probably
well over 100 White-throated Sparrows in California annually. In fact I
have three in my yard right now.  

But the population of humans in California was 1.1M in 1888.  By 1920 it
was 3.4M. Today it is over 37M.  I am not convinced the number of
White-throated Sparrows in California has actually increased at all since
1888.  The entire phenomenon may be entirely a consequence of our increased
population.

I think the size of the review list needs to be adjusted regularly to avoid
overwhelming the committee workload.  When the committee published its
first annual report it reviewed only four records for 1970, three records
for 1971; but in 1972 it reviewed 105 records.  Clearly the committee was
not functioning at full strength in its first two years.  Our most recent
annual report itemizes 254 records mostly from the year 2011.  

By contrast the British Birds Records Committee started with annual review
of about 200 records in 1959 but is now up to an astonishing 1200 to 1500
records each year.  

Some question the value in having committee review more regularly occurring
species. Personally I think a reasonable workload is more like 100 records
per year.  But to get to that level would require a substantial change to
our "40 or fewer" in the past decade."  

I'd be interested in the annual workload of other committees. Are there
others who review in excess of 200 records per year? 






On Mon, 6 Jan 2014 09:26:21 -0800 (PST), Kurt Radamaker
 wrote:

>All,
> 
>Here in Arizona we just had our annual meeting and one of the items on every 
years agenda is a review of the species on the review list. 

> 
>Our basic criteria is 30 records and/or about 3 records per year. It is not a 
hard and fast rule, since the cycle of bird distribution can ebb and flow over 
time. We try to avoid taking something off the list and having to put it back 
on years later. Some review species seem to have a fairly steady pattern, while 
others like some 

of the Mexican Vagrants can have several years of occurrence and then be missed 
for several years. This year we talked about removing Rufous-capped Warbler 
since we have several active locations in AZ, but like other typically Mexican 
species, in the past some of these small outlying groups may retreat and none 
may be seen for 

several years. Of course, things do change, this year we removed Plain-capped 
Starthroat from the review list leaving Cinnamon Hummingbird as the only 
"Mexican" specialty that does NOT occur regularly, Ok, Bumblebee too, but that 
subspecies is extinct.  Some ABC members were opining about the old days 

> and how odd it seems that hummers like Plain-capped, Berylline, 
White-eared and Lucifer were no longer on the review list. 

> 
> 
>Cheers 
> 
>Kurt Radamaker
>Cave Creek, AZ  
>
>________________________________
> From: Steven Mlodinow 
>To: nbrc AT gbbo.org; chill AT coastal.edu; brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu 
>Sent: Monday, January 6, 2014 6:49 AM
>Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
>  
>
>
>Greetings All 
> 
>My belief is that the primary purpose of a Bird Records Committee is to 
establish the pattern of occurrence of a taxon within the region covered. For 
more common species, this pattern is more-or-less established. For rarer 
species, not as much. There seems two basic approaches. 

> 
>1) after a certain number of records, the species pattern should be 
sufficiently established 

> 
>or
> 
>2) ongoing surveillance (eg, birds seen 2 or fewer times per year over a 
rolling ten-year average are reviewed) of sufficiently rare taxa.  

> 
>A hybrid approach would be reviewing sufficiently rare birds until a certain 
number of records have accrued (I think California formerly/currently [?] uses 
100 as a usual break off point). 

> 
>There are nuances. Some states/provinces also review regional rarities within 
their area (an example in SC might be an inland tubenose or alcid) or seasonal 
rarities of birds otherwise not rare enough for review (eg, a Hammond's 
Flycatcher in December in CO). Doing so is fine, but I think the basic task is 
as outlined above. Many 

committees (eg, WA) rely upon a combo of fastidious eBird reviewers and NAB 
editors to do that work, especially as the data flow increases.  

> 
>My personal feeling on this is that 15 or 20 records really is not sufficient 
to establish above mentioned pattern. The final number (if that approach is 
chosen) should not be a reflection on how thoroughly the state/province is 
covered, but on the number is sufficient to power an accurate picture of that 
taxon's occurrence. 

> 
>Respectfully Yours 
>Steven Mlodinow 
>
> 
> 
> 
> 
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Martin Meyers 
>To: Chris Hill ; brcf-l 
>Sent: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 11:57 pm
>Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
>
>
>Hi, Chris, In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but, in 
general, we 

>start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up 
>around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years -- we 
>probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed 
>records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations 
>where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and then 
>none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very rarely 
>removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten 
>years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on 
>removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a species 
>to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since 
>subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members 
>supersedes any numeric criteria. I think it's important to keep in mind that 
the birding population of Nevada 

>is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to do 
>the right calculations, one could probably show that a species 
>satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to 
>that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in California. 
Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth year. Martin 
=================================== 

>Martin Meyers
>Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
>website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
>================================== -----Original Message----- 
>From: Chris Hill
>Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
>To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates Hi 
all, I’m the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee.  I want 
to 

>carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of us 
>in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in 
>our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these 
>days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports 
>section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to 
>draw the line on which records we review may have shifted. If it’s possible 
to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at 

>which you consider records no longer “worth” review by the state BRC?  
After 

>the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After the 
>first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  It’s something I want to 
>discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month. Best, Chris 
Hill ************************************************************************ 

>Christopher E. Hill
>Biology Department
>Coastal Carolina University
>Conway, SC 29528-1954
>843-349-2567
>chill AT coastal.edu http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm ---
>This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus 
protection 

>is active. http://www.avast.com/    
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA    jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu 
Birding Classes start Feb 11  http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 16:23:24 -0600
Very good question, Joe.  Referring to my post earlier today about the way
we operate in Missouri, we end up reviewing on the order of 80-100 records
per year, which you suggest is a good "work load."  I think so too.
 Moreover, a great deal of our discussion and voting is by email, which
makes it relatively easy (except for me as Secretary).

I would note that we have to evaluate far fewer records of "continentally
rare" species than does California, and there are usually only a couple of
records per year for which we need to solicit outside expert review.
 Conversely, part of our work is the more mundane business of reviewing new
extreme dates, out-of-season records of common birds, and the like.  These
are less exciting, but they do contribute a lot to the documented
"occurrence patterns" that Steve emphasizes.

Bill Rowe


On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 1:26 PM, Joseph Morlan  wrote:

> It seems to me that most rarity numbers suffer from inflation caused at
> least in part by growing human population and/or percentage of the
> population who are birders capable of identifying rarities.
>
> California's review list guideline is 40 or fewer records in the past
> decade.  When there are 100 records total we routinely review whether the
> species still qualifies for the review list.  We also review the criteria
> for review list inclusion at least every five years.
>
> Your comment about the "old days" reminded me that California's first
> White-throated Sparrow was collected December 23, 1888.  The second Record
> was the following year in 1889 while the third record was in 1891.  By 1921
> there had been a total of 19 California records over a 33 year period.   It
> thus easily qualified as a CBRC review species during that time although
> there would not be a CBRC for another 50 years. Today there are probably
> well over 100 White-throated Sparrows in California annually. In fact I
> have three in my yard right now.
>
> But the population of humans in California was 1.1M in 1888.  By 1920 it
> was 3.4M. Today it is over 37M.  I am not convinced the number of
> White-throated Sparrows in California has actually increased at all since
> 1888.  The entire phenomenon may be entirely a consequence of our increased
> population.
>
> I think the size of the review list needs to be adjusted regularly to avoid
> overwhelming the committee workload.  When the committee published its
> first annual report it reviewed only four records for 1970, three records
> for 1971; but in 1972 it reviewed 105 records.  Clearly the committee was
> not functioning at full strength in its first two years.  Our most recent
> annual report itemizes 254 records mostly from the year 2011.
>
> By contrast the British Birds Records Committee started with annual review
> of about 200 records in 1959 but is now up to an astonishing 1200 to 1500
> records each year.
>
> Some question the value in having committee review more regularly occurring
> species. Personally I think a reasonable workload is more like 100 records
> per year.  But to get to that level would require a substantial change to
> our "40 or fewer" in the past decade."
>
> I'd be interested in the annual workload of other committees. Are there
> others who review in excess of 200 records per year?
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, 6 Jan 2014 09:26:21 -0800 (PST), Kurt Radamaker
>  wrote:
>
> >All,
> >
> >Here in Arizona we just had our annual meeting and one of the items on
> every years agenda is a review of the species on the review list.
> >
> >Our basic criteria is 30 records and/or about 3 records per year. It is
> not a hard and fast rule, since the cycle of bird distribution can ebb and
> flow over time. We try to avoid taking something off the list and having to
> put it back on years later. Some review species seem to have a fairly
> steady pattern, while others like some
> of the Mexican Vagrants can have several years of occurrence and then be
> missed for several years. This year we talked about removing Rufous-capped
> Warbler since we have several active locations in AZ, but like other
> typically Mexican species, in the past some of these small outlying groups
> may retreat and none may be seen for
> several years. Of course, things do change, this year we removed
> Plain-capped Starthroat from the review list leaving Cinnamon
> Hummingbird as the only "Mexican" specialty that does NOT occur regularly,
> Ok, Bumblebee too, but that subspecies is extinct.  Some ABC members were
> opining about the old days
> > and how odd it seems that hummers like Plain-capped, Berylline,
> White-eared and Lucifer were no longer on the review list.
> >
> >
> >Cheers
> >
> >Kurt Radamaker
> >Cave Creek, AZ
> >
> >________________________________
> > From: Steven Mlodinow 
> >To: nbrc AT gbbo.org; chill AT coastal.edu; brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu
> >Sent: Monday, January 6, 2014 6:49 AM
> >Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
> >
> >
> >
> >Greetings All
> >
> >My belief is that the primary purpose of a Bird Records Committee is to
> establish the pattern of occurrence of a taxon within the region covered.
> For more common species, this pattern is more-or-less established. For
> rarer species, not as much. There seems two basic approaches.
> >
> >1) after a certain number of records, the species pattern should be
> sufficiently established
> >
> >or
> >
> >2) ongoing surveillance (eg, birds seen 2 or fewer times per year over a
> rolling ten-year average are reviewed) of sufficiently rare taxa.
> >
> >A hybrid approach would be reviewing sufficiently rare birds until a
> certain number of records have accrued (I think California
> formerly/currently [?] uses 100 as a usual break off point).
> >
> >There are nuances. Some states/provinces also review regional rarities
> within their area (an example in SC might be an inland tubenose or alcid)
> or seasonal rarities of birds otherwise not rare enough for review (eg, a
> Hammond's Flycatcher in December in CO). Doing so is fine, but I think the
> basic task is as outlined above. Many
> committees (eg, WA) rely upon a combo of fastidious eBird reviewers and
> NAB editors to do that work, especially as the data flow increases.
> >
> >My personal feeling on this is that 15 or 20 records really is not
> sufficient to establish above mentioned pattern. The final number (if that
> approach is chosen) should not be a reflection on how thoroughly the
> state/province is covered, but on the number is sufficient to power an
> accurate picture of that taxon's occurrence.
> >
> >Respectfully Yours
> >Steven Mlodinow
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Martin Meyers 
> >To: Chris Hill ; brcf-l 
> >Sent: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 11:57 pm
> >Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
> >
> >
> >Hi, Chris, In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but,
> in general, we
> >start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up
> >around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years --
> we
> >probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed
> >records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations
> >where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and
> then
> >none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very
> rarely
> >removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten
> >years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on
> >removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a
> species
> >to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since
> >subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members
> >supersedes any numeric criteria. I think it's important to keep in mind
> that the birding population of Nevada
> >is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to
> do
> >the right calculations, one could probably show that a species
> >satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to
> >that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in
> California. Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth
> year. Martin ===================================
> >Martin Meyers
> >Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
> >website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
> >================================== -----Original Message-----
> >From: Chris Hill
> >Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
> >To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee
> Mandates Hi all, Im the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record
> Committee.  I want to
> >carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of
> us
> >in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence
> in
> >our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these
> >days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports
> >section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to
> >draw the line on which records we review may have shifted. If its
> possible to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at
> >which you consider records no longer worth review by the state BRC?
>  After
> >the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After
> the
> >first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  Its something I want to
> >discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month. Best,
> Chris Hill
> ************************************************************************
> >Christopher E. Hill
> >Biology Department
> >Coastal Carolina University
> >Conway, SC 29528-1954
> >843-349-2567
> >chill AT coastal.edu http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm ---
> >This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus
> protection
> >is active. http://www.avast.com/
> --
> Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA    jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu
> Birding Classes start Feb 11   http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/
>
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:26:28 -0800
It seems to me that most rarity numbers suffer from inflation caused at
least in part by growing human population and/or percentage of the
population who are birders capable of identifying rarities.  

California's review list guideline is 40 or fewer records in the past
decade.  When there are 100 records total we routinely review whether the
species still qualifies for the review list.  We also review the criteria
for review list inclusion at least every five years.  

Your comment about the "old days" reminded me that California's first
White-throated Sparrow was collected December 23, 1888.  The second Record
was the following year in 1889 while the third record was in 1891.  By 1921
there had been a total of 19 California records over a 33 year period.   It
thus easily qualified as a CBRC review species during that time although
there would not be a CBRC for another 50 years. Today there are probably
well over 100 White-throated Sparrows in California annually. In fact I
have three in my yard right now.   

But the population of humans in California was 1.1M in 1888.  By 1920 it
was 3.4M. Today it is over 37M.  I am not convinced the number of
White-throated Sparrows in California has actually increased at all since
1888.  The entire phenomenon may be entirely a consequence of our increased
population.

I think the size of the review list needs to be adjusted regularly to avoid
overwhelming the committee workload.  When the committee published its
first annual report it reviewed only four records for 1970, three records
for 1971; but in 1972 it reviewed 105 records.  Clearly the committee was
not functioning at full strength in its first two years.  Our most recent
annual report itemizes 254 records mostly from the year 2011.  

By contrast the British Birds Records Committee started with annual review
of about 200 records in 1959 but is now up to an astonishing 1200 to 1500
records each year.  

Some question the value in having committee review more regularly occurring
species. Personally I think a reasonable workload is more like 100 records
per year.  But to get to that level would require a substantial change to
our "40 or fewer" in the past decade."  

I'd be interested in the annual workload of other committees. Are there
others who review in excess of 200 records per year? 






On Mon, 6 Jan 2014 09:26:21 -0800 (PST), Kurt Radamaker
 wrote:

>All,
> 
>Here in Arizona we just had our annual meeting and one of the items on every 
years agenda is a review of the species on the review list. 

> 
>Our basic criteria is 30 records and/or about 3 records per year. It is not a 
hard and fast rule, since the cycle of bird distribution can ebb and flow over 
time. We try to avoid taking something off the list and having to put it back 
on years later. Some review species seem to have a fairly steady pattern, while 
others like some 

of the Mexican Vagrants can have several years of occurrence and then be missed 
for several years. This year we talked about removing Rufous-capped Warbler 
since we have several active locations in AZ, but like other typically Mexican 
species, in the past some of these small outlying groups may retreat and none 
may be seen for 

several years. Of course, things do change, this year we removed Plain-capped 
Starthroat from the review list leaving Cinnamon Hummingbird as the only 
"Mexican" specialty that does NOT occur regularly, Ok, Bumblebee too, but that 
subspecies is extinct.  Some ABC members were opining about the old days 

> and how odd it seems that hummers like Plain-capped, Berylline, 
White-eared and Lucifer were no longer on the review list. 

> 
> 
>Cheers 
> 
>Kurt Radamaker
>Cave Creek, AZ  
>
>________________________________
> From: Steven Mlodinow 
>To: nbrc AT gbbo.org; chill AT coastal.edu; brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu 
>Sent: Monday, January 6, 2014 6:49 AM
>Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
>  
>
>
>Greetings All 
> 
>My belief is that the primary purpose of a Bird Records Committee is to 
establish the pattern of occurrence of a taxon within the region covered. For 
more common species, this pattern is more-or-less established. For rarer 
species, not as much. There seems two basic approaches. 

> 
>1) after a certain number of records, the species pattern should be 
sufficiently established 

> 
>or
> 
>2) ongoing surveillance (eg, birds seen 2 or fewer times per year over a 
rolling ten-year average are reviewed) of sufficiently rare taxa.  

> 
>A hybrid approach would be reviewing sufficiently rare birds until a certain 
number of records have accrued (I think California formerly/currently [?] uses 
100 as a usual break off point). 

> 
>There are nuances. Some states/provinces also review regional rarities within 
their area (an example in SC might be an inland tubenose or alcid) or seasonal 
rarities of birds otherwise not rare enough for review (eg, a Hammond's 
Flycatcher in December in CO). Doing so is fine, but I think the basic task is 
as outlined above. Many 

committees (eg, WA) rely upon a combo of fastidious eBird reviewers and NAB 
editors to do that work, especially as the data flow increases.  

> 
>My personal feeling on this is that 15 or 20 records really is not sufficient 
to establish above mentioned pattern. The final number (if that approach is 
chosen) should not be a reflection on how thoroughly the state/province is 
covered, but on the number is sufficient to power an accurate picture of that 
taxon's occurrence. 

> 
>Respectfully Yours 
>Steven Mlodinow 
>
> 
> 
> 
> 
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Martin Meyers 
>To: Chris Hill ; brcf-l 
>Sent: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 11:57 pm
>Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
>
>
>Hi, Chris, In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but, in 
general, we 

>start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up 
>around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years -- we 
>probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed 
>records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations 
>where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and then 
>none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very rarely 
>removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten 
>years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on 
>removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a species 
>to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since 
>subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members 
>supersedes any numeric criteria. I think it's important to keep in mind that 
the birding population of Nevada 

>is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to do 
>the right calculations, one could probably show that a species 
>satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to 
>that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in California. 
Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth year. Martin 
=================================== 

>Martin Meyers
>Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
>website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
>================================== -----Original Message----- 
>From: Chris Hill
>Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
>To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates Hi 
all, I’m the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee. I want to 

>carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of us 
>in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in 
>our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these 
>days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports 
>section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to 
>draw the line on which records we review may have shifted. If it’s possible 
to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at 

>which you consider records no longer “worth” review by the state BRC? 
After 

>the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After the 
>first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  It’s something I want to 
>discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month. Best, Chris 
Hill ************************************************************************ 

>Christopher E. Hill
>Biology Department
>Coastal Carolina University
>Conway, SC 29528-1954
>843-349-2567
>chill AT coastal.edu http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm ---
>This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus 
protection 

>is active. http://www.avast.com/     
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA    jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu 
Birding Classes start Feb 11   http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 12:19:43 -0600
Everyone:

I like Steve's philosophy that a committee's main purpose is to focus on
patterns of occurrence -- and to report those in some fashion and update
them as needed.  In Missouri, the components of this task are as follows:

1) We define "casual" as fewer than 15 records and "accidental" as fewer
than 5.  These are arbitrary but more or less consistent with some other
states' criteria, and they do convey information concisely because they
have a specific meaning.  Beyond 15 records, a species becomes just "rare,"
which covers a much wider range of occurrence but at least implies
regularity, often multiple annual occurrences (or in some cases cyclical
irruptions).

2) All casual and accidental species are on our Review List.  A species is
usually taken off this list when it moves to "rare" but not always, if we
think there are ongoing problems with identification and we want the
information.  Good example is California Gull; it has now exceeded 15
records but we've left it on the list and still want to see documentation.

3) Like a few other states, we consider geography within the state as part
of occurrence patterns.  This is broad-brush but useful to birders, we
think, in helping them understand distribution within Missouri.  Thus
Painted Bunting is listed as rare in southwest MO but casual or accidental
in the rest of the state (and therefore deserving of documentation).  The
Review List reflects this by including all species that need review in some
major subsection of the state (like Painted Bunting).

4) Unlike practically all other states (correct me if I'm wrong) we also
consider seasonal occurrence and ask for documentation if a bird is casual
or accidental outside its normal seasons -- e.g., Summer Tanager in winter.
 These possibilities are so numerous that we do not put them in the Review
List, and we are a bit more subjective in using the terms "casual" and
"accidental."

5) All of this information is summarized in our Annotated Checklist, which
I am proud of.  It's an attempt to summarize, telegraphically, the entire
occurrence pattern of each species, including both geography and
seasonality.  As secretary, I know Missouri birders are using it, because I
often get documentations from birders none of us ever heard of who
consulted the list on line, understood the status info, and wrote up a doc
for their bird based on that (this too is usually done on line).  So it's
clear to me that the list provides a good source of information.  We go
through it annually and discuss changes or improvements to our status
designations. If anyone cares to look, you can find the list at

http://www.mobirds.org/RecordsCommittee/MOChecklist.aspx

There is also a small handy print version, but it gets out of date pretty
quickly.

Hope all this helps.  One thing to be borne in mind is that MO has fewer
birders out there than some other states (although the number is growing)
and so our total database is smaller.  It's not yet as feasible to use
frequency data (e.g., x number of occurrences per five or ten-year
interval) as to use absolute data (x number of occurrences ever).  We do
keep discussing this, though.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis


On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 7:49 AM, Steven Mlodinow  wrote:

> Greetings All
>
>  My belief is that the primary purpose of a Bird Records Committee is to
> establish the pattern of occurrence of a taxon within the region covered.
> For more common species, this pattern is more-or-less established. For
> rarer species, not as much. There seems two basic approaches.
>  1) after a certain number of records, the species pattern should be
> sufficiently established
>  or
>  2) ongoing surveillance (eg, birds seen 2 or fewer times per year over a
> rolling ten-year average are reviewed) of sufficiently rare taxa.
>
>  A hybrid approach would be reviewing sufficiently rare birds until a
> certain number of records have accrued (I think California
> formerly/currently [?] uses 100 as a usual break off point).
>
>  There are nuances. Some states/provinces also review regional rarities
> within their area (an example in SC might be an inland tubenose or alcid)
> or seasonal rarities of birds otherwise not rare enough for review (eg, a
> Hammond's Flycatcher in December in CO). Doing so is fine, but I think the
> basic task is as outlined above. Many committees (eg, WA) rely upon a combo
> of fastidious eBird reviewers and NAB editors to do that work, especially
> as the data flow increases.
>
>  My personal feeling on this is that 15 or 20 records really is not
> sufficient to establish above mentioned pattern. The final number (if that
> approach is chosen) should not be a reflection on how thoroughly the
> state/province is covered, but on the number is sufficient to power an
> accurate picture of that taxon's occurrence.
>
>  Respectfully Yours
> Steven Mlodinow
>
>
>
>
>  -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Meyers 
> To: Chris Hill ; brcf-l 
> Sent: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 11:57 pm
> Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
>
>  Hi, Chris,
>
> In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but, in general, we
> start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up
> around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years -- we
> probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed
> records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations
> where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and then
> none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very rarely
> removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten
> years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on
> removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a species
> to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since
> subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members
> supersedes any numeric criteria.
>
> I think it's important to keep in mind that the birding population of Nevada
> is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to do
> the right calculations, one could probably show that a species
> satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to
> that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in California.
>
> Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth year.
>
> Martin
>
> ===================================
> Martin Meyers
> Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
> website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
> ==================================
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Hill
> Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
> To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu
> Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
>
> Hi all,
>
> Im the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee.  I want to
> carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of us
> in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in
> our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these
> days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports
> section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to
> draw the line on which records we review may have shifted.
>
> If its possible to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at
> which you consider records no longer worth review by the state BRC?  After
> the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After the
> first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  Its something I want to
> discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month.
>
> Best,
>
> Chris Hill
>
> ************************************************************************
> Christopher E. Hill
> Biology Department
> Coastal Carolina University
> Conway, SC 29528-1954843-349-2567
> chill AT coastal.eduhttp://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm
>
>
>
>
>
> ---
> This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus 
protection 

> is active.http://www.avast.com
>
>
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: Kurt Radamaker <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 09:26:21 -0800 (PST)
All,
 
Here in Arizona we just had our annual meeting and one of the items on every 
years agenda is a review of the species on the review list. 

 
Our basic criteria is 30 records and/or about 3 records per year. It is not a 
hard and fast rule, since the cycle of bird distribution can ebb and flow over 
time. We try to avoid taking something off the list and having to put it back 
on years later. Some review species seem to have a fairly steady pattern, while 
others like some of the Mexican Vagrants can have several years of occurrence 
and then be missed for several years. This year we talked about removing 
Rufous-capped Warbler since we have several active locations in AZ, but like 
other typically Mexican species, in the past some of these small outlying 
groups may retreat and none may be seen for several years. Of course, things do 
change, this year we removed Plain-capped Starthroat from the review list 
leaving Cinnamon Hummingbird as the only "Mexican" specialty that does NOT 
occur regularly, Ok, Bumblebee too, but that subspecies is extinct.  Some ABC 
members were opining about the old days 

 and how odd it seems that hummers like Plain-capped, Berylline, 
White-eared and Lucifer were no longer on the review list. 

 
 
Cheers 
 
Kurt Radamaker
Cave Creek, AZ  

________________________________
 From: Steven Mlodinow 
To: nbrc AT gbbo.org; chill AT coastal.edu; brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu 
Sent: Monday, January 6, 2014 6:49 AM
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates
  


Greetings All 
 
My belief is that the primary purpose of a Bird Records Committee is to 
establish the pattern of occurrence of a taxon within the region covered. For 
more common species, this pattern is more-or-less established. For rarer 
species, not as much. There seems two basic approaches. 

 
1) after a certain number of records, the species pattern should be 
sufficiently established 

 
or
 
2) ongoing surveillance (eg, birds seen 2 or fewer times per year over a 
rolling ten-year average are reviewed) of sufficiently rare taxa.  

 
A hybrid approach would be reviewing sufficiently rare birds until a certain 
number of records have accrued (I think California formerly/currently [?] uses 
100 as a usual break off point). 

 
There are nuances. Some states/provinces also review regional rarities within 
their area (an example in SC might be an inland tubenose or alcid) or seasonal 
rarities of birds otherwise not rare enough for review (eg, a Hammond's 
Flycatcher in December in CO). Doing so is fine, but I think the basic task is 
as outlined above. Many committees (eg, WA) rely upon a combo of fastidious 
eBird reviewers and NAB editors to do that work, especially as the data flow 
increases.  

 
My personal feeling on this is that 15 or 20 records really is not sufficient 
to establish above mentioned pattern. The final number (if that approach is 
chosen) should not be a reflection on how thoroughly the state/province is 
covered, but on the number is sufficient to power an accurate picture of that 
taxon's occurrence. 

 
Respectfully Yours 
Steven Mlodinow 

 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Meyers 
To: Chris Hill ; brcf-l 
Sent: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 11:57 pm
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates


Hi, Chris, In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but, in 
general, we 

start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up 
around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years -- we 
probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed 
records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations 
where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and then 
none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very rarely 
removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten 
years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on 
removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a species 
to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since 
subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members 
supersedes any numeric criteria. I think it's important to keep in mind that 
the birding population of Nevada 

is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to do 
the right calculations, one could probably show that a species 
satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to 
that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in California. 
Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth year. Martin 
=================================== 

Martin Meyers
Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
================================== -----Original Message----- 
From: Chris Hill
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates Hi 
all, I’m the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee. I want to 

carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of us 
in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in 
our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these 
days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports 
section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to 
draw the line on which records we review may have shifted. If it’s possible 
to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at 

which you consider records no longer “worth” review by the state BRC? After 

the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After the 
first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  It’s something I want to 
discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month. Best, Chris 
Hill ************************************************************************ 

Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm ---
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection 

is active. http://www.avast.com/     
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: Steven Mlodinow <sgmlod AT aol.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 08:49:09 -0500 (EST)
Greetings All


My belief is that the primary purpose of a Bird Records Committee is to 
establish the pattern of occurrence of a taxon within the region covered. For 
more common species, this pattern is more-or-less established. For rarer 
species, not as much. There seems two basic approaches. 


1) after a certain number of records, the species pattern should be 
sufficiently established 


or

2) ongoing surveillance (eg, birds seen 2 or fewer times per year over a 
rolling ten-year average are reviewed) of sufficiently rare taxa. 



A hybrid approach would be reviewing sufficiently rare birds until a certain 
number of records have accrued (I think California formerly/currently [?] uses 
100 as a usual break off point). 



There are nuances. Some states/provinces also review regional rarities within 
their area (an example in SC might be an inland tubenose or alcid) or seasonal 
rarities of birds otherwise not rare enough for review (eg, a Hammond's 
Flycatcher in December in CO). Doing so is fine, but I think the basic task is 
as outlined above. Many committees (eg, WA) rely upon a combo of fastidious 
eBird reviewers and NAB editors to do that work, especially as the data flow 
increases. 



My personal feeling on this is that 15 or 20 records really is not sufficient 
to establish above mentioned pattern. The final number (if that approach is 
chosen) should not be a reflection on how thoroughly the state/province is 
covered, but on the number is sufficient to power an accurate picture of that 
taxon's occurrence. 



Respectfully Yours
Steven Mlodinow









-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Meyers 
To: Chris Hill ; brcf-l 
Sent: Sun, Jan 5, 2014 11:57 pm
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates


Hi, Chris,

In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but, in general, we 
start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up 
around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years -- we 
probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed 
records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations 
where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and then 
none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very rarely 
removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten 
years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on 
removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a species 
to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since 
subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members 
supersedes any numeric criteria.

I think it's important to keep in mind that the birding population of Nevada 
is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to do 
the right calculations, one could probably show that a species 
satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to 
that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in California.

Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth year.

Martin

===================================
Martin Meyers
Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
==================================


-----Original Message----- 
From: Chris Hill
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates

Hi all,

I’m the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee.  I want to 
carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of us 
in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in 
our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these 
days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports 
section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to 
draw the line on which records we review may have shifted.

If it’s possible to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at 
which you consider records no longer “worth” review by the state BRC? After 

the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After the 
first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  It’s something I want to 
discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month.

Best,

Chris Hill

************************************************************************
Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu
http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm





---
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection 

is active.
http://www.avast.com


 
Subject: Re: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: "Martin Meyers" <nbrc AT gbbo.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2014 22:57:20 -0800
Hi, Chris,

In Nevada, we don't have a hard-and-fast cutoff number, but, in general, we 
start to look at a species for removal from the review list when we get up 
around fifteen endorsed records.  We also look at the spread of years -- we 
probably wouldn't consider removing a species unless there were endorsed 
records from at least half of the previous ten years, to avoid situations 
where we get a bunch of records in one year (think Common Redpoll) and then 
none for the next (or preceding) several years.  (In fact, we've very rarely 
removed a species unless we had records for at least seven of the past ten 
years.)  Once a species has (generally) met those criteria, we vote on 
removal, typically at our biennial meeting.  It is not unusual for a species 
to meet those criteria but still not get voted off the review list, since 
subjective criteria based on the knowledge and judgment of our members 
supersedes any numeric criteria.

I think it's important to keep in mind that the birding population of Nevada 
is very small (and the state is very large.)  I think that if one were to do 
the right calculations, one could probably show that a species 
satisfactorily documented fifteen times in Nevada is about equivalent to 
that same species having a hundred or more endorsed records in California.

Incidentally, our committee is just entering its twentieth year.

Martin

===================================
Martin Meyers
Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
==================================


-----Original Message----- 
From: Chris Hill
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2014 11:25 AM
To: brcf-l AT list.indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Bird Record Committee Mandates

Hi all,

Im the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee.  I want to 
carefully consider our mission/mandate.  I mean, broadly, as with all of us 
in this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in 
our state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these 
days, including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports 
section of the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to 
draw the line on which records we review may have shifted.

If its possible to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at 
which you consider records no longer worth review by the state BRC?  After 
the first 5 documented records in the state (of a given species)?  After the 
first 10?  Some sort of floating criterion?  Its something I want to 
discuss with our committee when we meet face to face next month.

Best,

Chris Hill

************************************************************************
Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu
http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm





---
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection 
is active. 

http://www.avast.com
Subject: Bird Record Committee Mandates
From: Chris Hill <chill AT coastal.edu>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2014 14:25:11 -0500
Hi all,

Im the new chair of the South Carolina Bird Record Committee. I want to 
carefully consider our mission/mandate. I mean, broadly, as with all of us in 
this business, I want to increase the understanding of bird occurrence in our 
state, but with so many avenues accumulating rare bird reports these days, 
including ebird, Christmas Bird Count data, the notable bird reports section of 
the local bird journal, N. Am. Birds, etc., the best place to draw the line on 
which records we review may have shifted. 


If its possible to state simply, can you listmembers give the point at which 
you consider records no longer worth review by the state BRC? After the first 
5 documented records in the state (of a given species)? After the first 10? 
Some sort of floating criterion? Its something I want to discuss with our 
committee when we meet face to face next month. 


Best,

Chris Hill

************************************************************************
Christopher E. Hill
Biology Department
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC 29528-1954
843-349-2567
chill AT coastal.edu
http://ww2.coastal.edu/chill/chill.htm




Subject: Re: Review of non-review species documentations
From: Doug Faulkner <zebrilus AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 21:17:38 -0700
Thanks to everyone who responded on the listserv and directly to me.
Archiving the report and explaining to the reporting observer why it will
not be reviewed is a sensible approach.  Colorado's reporting system is
online so chucking these into a non-review file should just take a couple
clicks of the mouse.

Thanks again.

Doug Faulkner
Colorado BRC Chair




On Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:50 AM, Phil Davis  wrote:

>  Hi guys:
>
> First, to Doug ... When people happen to submit documentation to me for a
> species or taxon is not on our review list, I politely thank them and
> explain that this is not a species that meets our committee's review
> criteria. I may tell them that I will forward their report to our Maryland
> Birdlife seasonal editor and/or NAB regional editor. I generally do not
> archive such reports. Bottom line, the review list should prevail regarding
> what is reviewed and what is not, that is its purpose.
>
> Next, to Bill ... When the MD committee first started up in the early
> 1980s, it reviewed reports that were "out of season" as well as first
> county records. The members however, soon decided to take the committee out
> of the early/late and county record business, and I support that, even
> though it pre-dated my service. A few years ago, we decided to experiment
> with capturing a very few notable, unusual seasonal reports in our database
> and archiving the documentation in our files for posterity; however, we
> categorize these data records as "Non Review Species" and they don't should
> up in our normal reports and data products. However, in the years since, we
> have come to the conclusion that if the bird was reported into eBird, that
> should be sufficient for archiving the related data.
>
> General Comment. My $.02, as the Secretary, I try to never be on the
> decision path regarding what gets reviewed and what does not. I never want
> to seem that I am a "gatekeeper" that people need to get though to get a
> report reviewed. Likewise, I never take a position on the quality or
> acceptability of a submitted report. I always want to maintain the role of
> an honest broker.
>
> Hope this helps ...
>
> Phil
>
>
>
> At 19:26 11/14/2013, William Rowe wrote:
>
> Doug:
>
> In Missouri, most documentations are submitted on line, and I as secretary
> am the person who screens them first by going to the submission page. The
> first decision I have to make is whether the record should be reviewed by
> the committee or not.  I click to indicate "Review" or "No review."  If it
> is "No review," the documentation goes into an electronic archive of all
> such docs -- not deleted, but basically in a permanent storage bin where,
> realistically, nobody is going to look at it again, although we could if we
> wanted.
>
> What drives the decision? Basically there are two types of "No review"
> records:
>
> 1) A species that is normal for the season and location, not on the Review
> List -- e.g., a Red-breasted Merganser in March (true example).  A
> no-brainer for me, and I write the person a short email that basically says
> "Thank you for documenting.  That's a nice sighting, but it does not need
> committee review because...."
>
> 2) Less obvious are birds that are not on the Review List but are out of
> season, or nearly so.  Our committee takes unseasonal records as part of
> its purview, including record-early and record-late reports.  This is much
> more of a judgment call -- e.g., if the person has recorded the
> earliest-ever Nashville Warbler by two weeks, on March 23, that is
> significant and we will review it. If it is the earliest-ever by one day,
> April 7, then most likely I will make sure the record gets mentioned in our
> seasonal report but will not circulate it to the committee for review. In
> between it gets fuzzy. This is a gray area and we argue about it; sometimes
> I ask other members' advice on whether they think a record should be
> reviewed.
>
> That's a long answer to a short question.  Hope it helps.
>
> Bill Rowe
> St. Louis
>
>
> On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Doug Faulkner  wrote:
>  Hello all:
>
> The Colorado Bird Records Committee frequently receives documentations for
> species and subspecies that are not on the state's main review list
> (Colorado also has quasi-county-based review lists). Some of these are
> plain common species that the reporting observers think are interesting.
> I'm wondering how other state committees handle those documentations.
>
> My approach has been that those documentations do not go to the full
> Committee for formal review and voting.  However, I'm stuck on what the
> status should be for those documentations?  Not reviewed and filed away
> (i.e., ignored)? Reviewed and (not-)accepted by Chair only? Some other
> categorization?
>
> Thanks in advance for any feedback.
>
> Doug Faulkner
> CBRC Chair
>
>   ===================================================
> Phil Davis, Secretary
> MD/DC Records Committee
> 2549 Vale Court
> Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
> 301-261-0184
>  mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
>
>  MD/DCRC Web site:
> http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
>  
> ===================================================
>
Subject: Re: Review of non-review species documentations
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 02:50:08 -0500
Hi guys:

First, to Doug ... When people happen to submit documentation to me 
for a species or taxon is not on our review list, I politely thank 
them and explain that this is not a species that meets our 
committee's review criteria. I may tell them that I will forward 
their report to our Maryland Birdlife seasonal editor and/or NAB 
regional editor. I generally do not archive such reports. Bottom 
line, the review list should prevail regarding what is reviewed and 
what is not, that is its purpose.

Next, to Bill ... When the MD committee first started up in the early 
1980s, it reviewed reports that were "out of season" as well as first 
county records. The members however, soon decided to take the 
committee out of the early/late and county record business, and I 
support that, even though it pre-dated my service. A few years ago, 
we decided to experiment with capturing a very few notable, unusual 
seasonal reports in our database and archiving the documentation in 
our files for posterity; however, we categorize these data records as 
"Non Review Species" and they don't should up in our normal reports 
and data products. However, in the years since, we have come to the 
conclusion that if the bird was reported into eBird, that should be 
sufficient for archiving the related data.

General Comment. My $.02, as the Secretary, I try to never be on the 
decision path regarding what gets reviewed and what does not. I never 
want to seem that I am a "gatekeeper" that people need to get though 
to get a report reviewed. Likewise, I never take a position on the 
quality or acceptability of a submitted report. I always want to 
maintain the role of an honest broker.

Hope this helps ...

Phil


At 19:26 11/14/2013, William Rowe wrote:
>Doug:
>
>In Missouri, most documentations are submitted on line, and I as 
>secretary am the person who screens them first by going to the 
>submission page. The first decision I have to make is whether the 
>record should be reviewed by the committee or not.  I click to 
>indicate "Review" or "No review."  If it is "No review," the 
>documentation goes into an electronic archive of all such docs -- 
>not deleted, but basically in a permanent storage bin where, 
>realistically, nobody is going to look at it again, although we 
>could if we wanted.
>
>What drives the decision? Basically there are two types of "No 
>review" records:
>
>1) A species that is normal for the season and location, not on the 
>Review List -- e.g., a Red-breasted Merganser in March (true 
>example).  A no-brainer for me, and I write the person a short email 
>that basically says "Thank you for documenting.  That's a nice 
>sighting, but it does not need committee review because...."
>
>2) Less obvious are birds that are not on the Review List but are 
>out of season, or nearly so.  Our committee takes unseasonal records 
>as part of its purview, including record-early and record-late 
>reports.  This is much more of a judgment call -- e.g., if the 
>person has recorded the earliest-ever Nashville Warbler by two 
>weeks, on March 23, that is significant and we will review it. If it 
>is the earliest-ever by one day, April 7, then most likely I will 
>make sure the record gets mentioned in our seasonal report but will 
>not circulate it to the committee for review. In between it gets 
>fuzzy. This is a gray area and we argue about it; sometimes I ask 
>other members' advice on whether they think a record should be reviewed.
>
>That's a long answer to a short question.  Hope it helps.
>
>Bill Rowe
>St. Louis
>
>
>On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Doug Faulkner 
><zebrilus AT gmail.com> wrote:
>Hello all:
>
>The Colorado Bird Records Committee frequently receives 
>documentations for species and subspecies that are not on the 
>state's main review list (Colorado also has quasi-county-based 
>review lists). Some of these are plain common species that the 
>reporting observers think are interesting.  I'm wondering how other 
>state committees handle those documentations.
>
>My approach has been that those documentations do not go to the full 
>Committee for formal review and voting.  However, I'm stuck on what 
>the status should be for those documentations?  Not reviewed and 
>filed away (i.e., ignored)? Reviewed and (not-)accepted by Chair 
>only? Some other categorization?
>
>Thanks in advance for any feedback.
>
>Doug Faulkner
>CBRC Chair
>

===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: Re: Review of non-review species documentations
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 18:26:29 -0600
Doug:

In Missouri, most documentations are submitted on line, and I as secretary
am the person who screens them first by going to the submission page. The
first decision I have to make is whether the record should be reviewed by
the committee or not.  I click to indicate "Review" or "No review."  If it
is "No review," the documentation goes into an electronic archive of all
such docs -- not deleted, but basically in a permanent storage bin where,
realistically, nobody is going to look at it again, although we could if we
wanted.

What drives the decision? Basically there are two types of "No review"
records:

1) A species that is normal for the season and location, not on the Review
List -- e.g., a Red-breasted Merganser in March (true example).  A
no-brainer for me, and I write the person a short email that basically says
"Thank you for documenting.  That's a nice sighting, but it does not need
committee review because...."

2) Less obvious are birds that are not on the Review List but are out of
season, or nearly so.  Our committee takes unseasonal records as part of
its purview, including record-early and record-late reports.  This is much
more of a judgment call -- e.g., if the person has recorded the
earliest-ever Nashville Warbler by two weeks, on March 23, that is
significant and we will review it. If it is the earliest-ever by one day,
April 7, then most likely I will make sure the record gets mentioned in our
seasonal report but will not circulate it to the committee for review. In
between it gets fuzzy. This is a gray area and we argue about it; sometimes
I ask other members' advice on whether they think a record should be
reviewed.

That's a long answer to a short question.  Hope it helps.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis








On Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Doug Faulkner  wrote:

> Hello all:
>
> The Colorado Bird Records Committee frequently receives documentations for
> species and subspecies that are not on the state's main review list
> (Colorado also has quasi-county-based review lists). Some of these are
> plain common species that the reporting observers think are interesting.
> I'm wondering how other state committees handle those documentations.
>
> My approach has been that those documentations do not go to the full
> Committee for formal review and voting.  However, I'm stuck on what the
> status should be for those documentations?  Not reviewed and filed away
> (i.e., ignored)? Reviewed and (not-)accepted by Chair only? Some other
> categorization?
>
> Thanks in advance for any feedback.
>
> Doug Faulkner
> CBRC Chair
>
>
>
Subject: Review of non-review species documentations
From: Doug Faulkner <zebrilus AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:07:00 -0700
Hello all:

The Colorado Bird Records Committee frequently receives documentations for
species and subspecies that are not on the state's main review list
(Colorado also has quasi-county-based review lists). Some of these are
plain common species that the reporting observers think are interesting.
I'm wondering how other state committees handle those documentations.

My approach has been that those documentations do not go to the full
Committee for formal review and voting.  However, I'm stuck on what the
status should be for those documentations?  Not reviewed and filed away
(i.e., ignored)? Reviewed and (not-)accepted by Chair only? Some other
categorization?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Doug Faulkner
CBRC Chair
Subject: Seeking info on records of large numbers of Little Gulls in interior North America
From: "Geoff Malosh" <pomarine AT earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2013 22:34:28 -0400
I hope this is not too far off topic since it does not relate directly to
the workings of records committees. I am looking for information on records
of large aggregations of Little Gulls (50 or more) in the northeastern
states and provinces of North America including the Great Lakes, away from
the Atlantic coast. I am particularly interested in records of large groups
in spring migration but would also be interested in hearing of any records
of large inland gatherings of Little Gulls at any time of year.

If you know of such records in your area, I would very much appreciate any
info.

Thanks very much.


Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds 
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128  
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html 
=========================================================================== 
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology 
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html 
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm 

Subject: RE: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross
From: "Kurt Radamaker" <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 18:15:58 -0700
Hi Alan, 

 

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean no one is out to get me :)

 

You have a point. Many birders don't much care about BRCs or even relate to
them. I do think publications like Birding are a valuable tool for educating
birders at all levels, so clarifying the value of BRCs in an article about
what BRCs may face in the future may not be for nothing, but that is for the
authors to decide.

 

To be honest, I don't think a birder questioning of the value of a BRC is
all that crazy and I don't think it is the same as asking why we have
museums, scientists or police. 

 

I do think committees have great value, but many could scale back on the
number of species they review. Many of the species we have on our review
list, even though they are rare in AZ are generally fairly easy to identify
and most are photographed (everyone has a camera these days) and with the
vast amount of resources available online to birders, birders reach a
competent level faster than ever. Although I'm not sure you will agree with
that last statement. The important thing is the report gets vetted and
published and this can be accomplished by publishing the sighting in North
American Birds. Why should a committee review the umpteenth report of a
Scarlet Tanager when it is a full frame photo of a male. Similarly, how many
specimens do you need of male Scarlet Tanagers in your museum drawers? 

 

Most of the 90% of birders you speak of, don't subscribe to Western Birds
where we publish our committee report, so we put the report on our committee
website where they probably won't see it either!

 

I do not speak for the AZ committee, since most would disagree with me
anyway :-o.

 

Kurt

 

 

From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:46 PM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian
Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross

 

 

One could also question the value of museums as well, if so inclined.

By your same reasoning, why not photograph all specimens, post them online
(sure, E-bird), then throw the specimens in the trash to save space and
money?

 

To change the subject, and I hate to say this, but the vast majority of
birders (possibly north of 90%) aren't even qualified to ask the question
you mention. 

 

And I'm sure some people ask these questions too:  why have scientists?  why
have biologists?  why have farmers?  why have policemen?

 

(I think you are paranoid LOL)

 

Alan Wormington

Leamington, Ontario

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Kurt Radamaker"  >
To: "'Ted Floyd'"  >,
 >
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 16:28:55 -0700

I also meant to say, I support BRCs and think they are worthwhile, but I'm
often asked by birders why we even have a committee and what is it actually
good for. It might be a good time to discuss the purpose, importance and
value of BRCs.

 

Ok, I'm done digging my hole even deeper.

 

Kurt 

 

From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:21 PMI a
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Oops, this was intended for Ted only. My bad.

 

Kurt Radamaker

 

From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:20 PM
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hi Ted,

 

I'm not being facetious, but I hope you will address the question of whether
bird committees will even be needed in the 21 century. With resources like
eBird and many other online resources, committees seem less and less
beneficial. I'm on the AZ committee and support it whole-heartedly, but I
think committees should drastically reduce the number of species they review
and in some cases maybe just review first state records and simply be the
official custodians of the state checklist. Our AZ records committee is
generally 3-4 years behind on publication which seems a bit slow in the
electronic age. Nearly every review species seen in AZ is photographed and
posted to our Arizona Field Ornithologists (AZFO) web site http://AZFO.org
if a species identification is in question several state experts review the
photos before they are posted and even after posting we solicit comments
from the public.

 

Also, I'd love to see suggestions on a uniform process across committees for
evaluating species of uncertain origin. I have often mulled over the idea of
publishing a scorecard similar to scoring methods for hybrids, but I'm not
sure how well that would go over.

 

I never did get any feedback on my origin uncertain thought experiment,
maybe some folks didn't get it. Can you imagine a scientist leaving oxygen
off his list of moon rock elements, just because he wasn't sure where it
came from. You'd be run out of town :).

 

Looking forward to your article.

 

Kurt

 

From: Ted Floyd [mailto:tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 11:50 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu  
Subject: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hello, all.

 

Would the relevant person or persons be so kind as to email me the
following:

 

1. For Oregon, the total number of accepted records of Hawaiian Petrel;

 

2. For Washington, the same thing--total number of accepted records of
Hawaiian Petrel;

 

3. For either Oregon and Washington, y'all don't have any Galapagos Petrels,
right??

 

4. For one of the two of you states, the details, about which I have only
the vaguest idea (see? I don't even know which state it is!), on a radio- or
maybe satellite-tagged Short-tailed Albatross that wandered into your
waters.

 

These requests are in connection with a forthcoming general-audience
article, by Bill Pranty and me, on challenges and opportunities for records
committees in the 21st century.

 

Many, many thanks.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ted Floyd

tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com  

Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Subject: Fw: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross
From: "Alan Wormington" <wormington AT juno.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 23:45:34 GMT
 One could also question the value of museums as well, if so inclined.By your 
same reasoning, why not photograph all specimens, post them online (sure, 
E-bird), then throw the specimens in the trash to save space and money? To 
change the subject, and I hate to say this, but the vast majority of birders 
(possibly north of 90%) aren't even qualified to ask the question you mention. 
And I'm sure some people ask these questions too: why have scientists? why have 
biologists? why have farmers? why have policemen? (I think you are paranoid 
LOL) Alan WormingtonLeamington, Ontario 


---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Kurt Radamaker" 
To: "'Ted Floyd'" , 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, 
Short-tailed Albatross 

Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 16:28:55 -0700


I also meant to say, I support BRCs and think they are worthwhile, but 
I’m often asked by birders why we even have a committee and what is it 
actually good for. It might be a good time to discuss the purpose, importance 
and value of BRCs. 

 
Ok, I’m done digging my hole even deeper.
 
Kurt 
 
From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:21 PMI a
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, 
Short-tailed Albatross 

 
Oops, this was intended for Ted only. My bad.
 
Kurt Radamaker
 
From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:20 PM
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, 
Short-tailed Albatross 

 
Hi Ted,
 
I’m not being facetious, but I hope you will address the question of 
whether bird committees will even be needed in the 21 century. With resources 
like eBird and many other online resources, committees seem less and less 
beneficial. I’m on the AZ committee and support it whole-heartedly, but I 
think committees should drastically reduce the number of species they review 
and in some cases maybe just review first state records and simply be the 
official custodians of the state checklist. Our AZ records committee is 
generally 3-4 years behind on publication which seems a bit slow in the 
electronic age. Nearly every review species seen in AZ is photographed and 
posted to our Arizona Field Ornithologists (AZFO) web site http://AZFO.org if a 
species identification is in question several state experts review the photos 
before they are posted and even after posting we solicit comments from the 
public. 

 
Also, I’d love to see suggestions on a uniform process across committees 
for evaluating species of uncertain origin. I have often mulled over the idea 
of publishing a scorecard similar to scoring methods for hybrids, but I’m 
not sure how well that would go over. 

 
I never did get any feedback on my origin uncertain thought experiment, maybe 
some folks didn’t get it. Can you imagine a scientist leaving oxygen off 
his list of moon rock elements, just because he wasn’t sure where it came 
from. You’d be run out of town J. 

 
Looking forward to your article.
 
Kurt
 
From: Ted Floyd [mailto:tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 11:50 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, 
Short-tailed Albatross 

 
Hello, all.
 
Would the relevant person or persons be so kind as to email me the following:
 
1. For Oregon, the total number of accepted records of Hawaiian Petrel;
 
2. For Washington, the same thing--total number of accepted records of Hawaiian 
Petrel; 

 
3. For either Oregon and Washington, y'all don't have any Galapagos Petrels, 
right?? 

 
4. For one of the two of you states, the details, about which I have only the 
vaguest idea (see? I don't even know which state it is!), on a radio- or maybe 
satellite-tagged Short-tailed Albatross that wandered into your waters. 

 
These requests are in connection with a forthcoming general-audience article, 
by Bill Pranty and me, on challenges and opportunities for records committees 
in the 21st century. 

 
Many, many thanks.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ted Floyd
tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com
Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Subject: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross
From: "Kurt Radamaker" <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 16:28:55 -0700
I also meant to say, I support BRCs and think they are worthwhile, but I'm
often asked by birders why we even have a committee and what is it actually
good for. It might be a good time to discuss the purpose, importance and
value of BRCs.

 

Ok, I'm done digging my hole even deeper.

 

Kurt 

 

From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:21 PMI a
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Oops, this was intended for Ted only. My bad.

 

Kurt Radamaker

 

From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:20 PM
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hi Ted,

 

I'm not being facetious, but I hope you will address the question of whether
bird committees will even be needed in the 21 century. With resources like
eBird and many other online resources, committees seem less and less
beneficial. I'm on the AZ committee and support it whole-heartedly, but I
think committees should drastically reduce the number of species they review
and in some cases maybe just review first state records and simply be the
official custodians of the state checklist. Our AZ records committee is
generally 3-4 years behind on publication which seems a bit slow in the
electronic age. Nearly every review species seen in AZ is photographed and
posted to our Arizona Field Ornithologists (AZFO) web site http://AZFO.org
if a species identification is in question several state experts review the
photos before they are posted and even after posting we solicit comments
from the public.

 

Also, I'd love to see suggestions on a uniform process across committees for
evaluating species of uncertain origin. I have often mulled over the idea of
publishing a scorecard similar to scoring methods for hybrids, but I'm not
sure how well that would go over.

 

I never did get any feedback on my origin uncertain thought experiment,
maybe some folks didn't get it. Can you imagine a scientist leaving oxygen
off his list of moon rock elements, just because he wasn't sure where it
came from. You'd be run out of town :).

 

Looking forward to your article.

 

Kurt

 

From: Ted Floyd [mailto:tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 11:50 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu  
Subject: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hello, all.

 

Would the relevant person or persons be so kind as to email me the
following:

 

1. For Oregon, the total number of accepted records of Hawaiian Petrel;

 

2. For Washington, the same thing--total number of accepted records of
Hawaiian Petrel;

 

3. For either Oregon and Washington, y'all don't have any Galapagos Petrels,
right??

 

4. For one of the two of you states, the details, about which I have only
the vaguest idea (see? I don't even know which state it is!), on a radio- or
maybe satellite-tagged Short-tailed Albatross that wandered into your
waters.

 

These requests are in connection with a forthcoming general-audience
article, by Bill Pranty and me, on challenges and opportunities for records
committees in the 21st century.

 

Many, many thanks.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ted Floyd

tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com  

Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Subject: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross
From: "Kurt Radamaker" <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 16:21:22 -0700
Oops, this was intended for Ted only. My bad.

 

Kurt Radamaker

 

From: Kurt Radamaker [mailto:kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 4:20 PM
To: 'Ted Floyd'; 'brcf-l AT indiana.edu'
Subject: RE: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hi Ted,

 

I'm not being facetious, but I hope you will address the question of whether
bird committees will even be needed in the 21 century. With resources like
eBird and many other online resources, committees seem less and less
beneficial. I'm on the AZ committee and support it whole-heartedly, but I
think committees should drastically reduce the number of species they review
and in some cases maybe just review first state records and simply be the
official custodians of the state checklist. Our AZ records committee is
generally 3-4 years behind on publication which seems a bit slow in the
electronic age. Nearly every review species seen in AZ is photographed and
posted to our Arizona Field Ornithologists (AZFO) web site http://AZFO.org
if a species identification is in question several state experts review the
photos before they are posted and even after posting we solicit comments
from the public.

 

Also, I'd love to see suggestions on a uniform process across committees for
evaluating species of uncertain origin. I have often mulled over the idea of
publishing a scorecard similar to scoring methods for hybrids, but I'm not
sure how well that would go over.

 

I never did get any feedback on my origin uncertain thought experiment,
maybe some folks didn't get it. Can you imagine a scientist leaving oxygen
off his list of moon rock elements, just because he wasn't sure where it
came from. You'd be run out of town :).

 

Looking forward to your article.

 

Kurt

 

From: Ted Floyd [mailto:tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 11:50 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu  
Subject: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hello, all.

 

Would the relevant person or persons be so kind as to email me the
following:

 

1. For Oregon, the total number of accepted records of Hawaiian Petrel;

 

2. For Washington, the same thing--total number of accepted records of
Hawaiian Petrel;

 

3. For either Oregon and Washington, y'all don't have any Galapagos Petrels,
right??

 

4. For one of the two of you states, the details, about which I have only
the vaguest idea (see? I don't even know which state it is!), on a radio- or
maybe satellite-tagged Short-tailed Albatross that wandered into your
waters.

 

These requests are in connection with a forthcoming general-audience
article, by Bill Pranty and me, on challenges and opportunities for records
committees in the 21st century.

 

Many, many thanks.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ted Floyd

tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com  

Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Subject: RE: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross
From: "Kurt Radamaker" <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 16:19:48 -0700
Hi Ted,

 

I'm not being facetious, but I hope you will address the question of whether
bird committees will even be needed in the 21 century. With resources like
eBird and many other online resources, committees seem less and less
beneficial. I'm on the AZ committee and support it whole-heartedly, but I
think committees should drastically reduce the number of species they review
and in some cases maybe just review first state records and simply be the
official custodians of the state checklist. Our AZ records committee is
generally 3-4 years behind on publication which seems a bit slow in the
electronic age. Nearly every review species seen in AZ is photographed and
posted to our Arizona Field Ornithologists (AZFO) web site http://AZFO.org
if a species identification is in question several state experts review the
photos before they are posted and even after posting we solicit comments
from the public.

 

Also, I'd love to see suggestions on a uniform process across committees for
evaluating species of uncertain origin. I have often mulled over the idea of
publishing a scorecard similar to scoring methods for hybrids, but I'm not
sure how well that would go over.

 

I never did get any feedback on my origin uncertain thought experiment,
maybe some folks didn't get it. Can you imagine a scientist leaving oxygen
off his list of moon rock elements, just because he wasn't sure where it
came from. You'd be run out of town :).

 

Looking forward to your article.

 

Kurt

 

From: Ted Floyd [mailto:tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 11:50 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel,
Short-tailed Albatross

 

Hello, all.

 

Would the relevant person or persons be so kind as to email me the
following:

 

1. For Oregon, the total number of accepted records of Hawaiian Petrel;

 

2. For Washington, the same thing--total number of accepted records of
Hawaiian Petrel;

 

3. For either Oregon and Washington, y'all don't have any Galapagos Petrels,
right??

 

4. For one of the two of you states, the details, about which I have only
the vaguest idea (see? I don't even know which state it is!), on a radio- or
maybe satellite-tagged Short-tailed Albatross that wandered into your
waters.

 

These requests are in connection with a forthcoming general-audience
article, by Bill Pranty and me, on challenges and opportunities for records
committees in the 21st century.

 

Many, many thanks.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ted Floyd

tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com  

Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Subject: RFI: Oregon and Washington records of Hawaiian Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 11:49:52 -0700
Hello, all.
Would the relevant person or persons be so kind as to email me the following:
1. For Oregon, the total number of accepted records of Hawaiian Petrel;
2. For Washington, the same thing--total number of accepted records of Hawaiian 
Petrel; 

3. For either Oregon and Washington, y'all don't have any Galapagos Petrels, 
right?? 

4. For one of the two of you states, the details, about which I have only the 
vaguest idea (see? I don't even know which state it is!), on a radio- or maybe 
satellite-tagged Short-tailed Albatross that wandered into your waters. 

These requests are in connection with a forthcoming general-audience article, 
by Bill Pranty and me, on challenges and opportunities for records committees 
in the 21st century. 

Many, many thanks.
Sincerely,
Ted Floydtedfloyd57 AT hotmail.comLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA 
Subject: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Ryan Brady <ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:05:20 -0600
Thanks to all for this discussion. The resources and opinions that have been 
shared so far have been really, really helpful. 


Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady


________________________________
> From: tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com 
> To: kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com; ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com; brcf-l AT indiana.edu 
> Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records 
> Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:31:17 -0700 
>  
> I'm 100% in agreement with Kurt on this. 
>  
> If a bird shows up in the wild, the "scientific" question, it seems to  
> me, is: "Can we convincingly demonstrate that it's not wild?" 
>  
> There are various ways of doing so. If the bird is wearing a band that  
> says "Property of the San Diego Zoo," there's a nearly 100% probability  
> it's not wild. If it's not banded, but shows various characters  
> indicative of captive origin (tameness, unusual feather wear, unusual  
> molt timing, etc.), then we might well suspect captive origin. Or maybe  
> it's a species that's some combination of common in captivity, not  
> especially prone to vagrancy, and native to somewhere far, far away; a  
> White-rumped Shama currently in Colorado, USA, would seem to fit the  
> bill. Many of us would say we're highly certain that that shama is an  
> escape from captivity. 
>  
> As to Barnacle Geese, though, I'd be inclined to go easy on those.  
> They're all over. Some are human assisted, some are not. No biggie.  
> They're here. Let's document them. Let's get them into the record. 
>  
> You know, assuming bird records committees are about the science. 
>  
> Or they about the purity and integrity of listers' lists? Nothing wrong  
> with that--but if that's what BRCs are about, they oughtta say so. 
>  
> And why are we so uptight about human assistance and captive origin? I  
> mean, how many rare hummingbirds in the East aren't at feeders? And how  
> do we know they weren't captured at some point? And even if they're  
> "naturally occurring vagrants," they're really nothing of the sort, as  
> the entire phenomenon of East Coast hummingbirds is widely ascribed to  
> human agency: changing climate, exotic plants, millions of hummingbird  
> feeders... My policy: Count 'em all. Every one of 'em. All those  
> hummingbirds at feeders, yes, and all those Barnacle Geese. 
>  
> Ted Floyd 
> tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com 
> Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA 
>  
>  
>  
> > From: kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com 
> > To: ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com; brcf-l AT indiana.edu 
> > Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:48:48 -0700 
> > Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records 
> > 
> > Hi Ryan, 
> > 
> > This subject is one that I have railed about over the years and one I'm 
> > biased about, so keep that in mind as I rail against conservative bird 
> > committees. 
> > 
> > If a committee cannot decide on the provenance of a species, and that  
> is the 
> > only hindrance to accepting it, accept it, that is all there is to it. 
> > 
> > I cite the case of the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in New Mexico. You and I and 

> > committees can argue all day about the provenance of the Wood-Rail, but in 
> > the absence of any real evidence to the contrary, I think it would be 
> > arrogant to reject the species because of uncertain origin. 
> > 
> > My fundamental argument for accepting uncertain origin birds like 
> > Rufous-necked Wood-Rail is; let the reader decide. Don't presume that you 
> > "the committee" are smarter or more knowledgeable than the reader or 
> > consumer of the list. One argument I have heard for not accepting an 
> > uncertain origin species, is to err on the side of conservatism. What does 
> > that even mean? Does it mean don't accept because we don't understand? Does 

> > it mean, keep it off the list because we can't decide? 
> > 
> > I'm sure many of you on this listserv have formed your own opinions about 
> > the Sungrebe that was accepted from Bosque del Apache in New Mexico a few 
> > years ago. I personally don't think a Sungrebe has much of chance of making 

> > it to New Mexico on its own, but at least now I can look at the checklist 
> > and formulate my own decision. I don't have to go digging through years of 
> > committee decisions to figure out what species have been excluded from the 
> > checklist. I also don't think any of us believe that the New Mexico 
> > committee is a bunch of dumb-asses for accepting it. We may disagree with 
> > the decision, but we understand why they accepted it. 
> > Okay, what If we find out next year that an exotic bird collector in New 
> > Mexico had Sungrebes and Rufous-necked Wood-Rails in his collection that 
> > escaped. Fine, take them off the list, is that so horrible? 
> > 
> > If I'm pouring over the checklist of birds for Wisconsin and I see Barnacle 

> > Goose listed as a review species, I get it, I know the issues surrounding 
> > the Barnacle Goose in the US, Eastern states have been debating Barnacle 
> > Goose reports for years. So let us debate the Wisconsin bird. Don't just 
> > kick it under the rug as if it never existed, like so many BRCs in the east 

> > have done over the years. 
> > 
> > Thanks for listening to my tirade. 
> > 
> > Kurt Radamaker 
> > Arizona Bird Committee member. 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message----- 
> > From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
> > Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:16 PM 
> > To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu 
> > Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records 
> > 
> > Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records 
> > Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list 
> > with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much 
> > traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl. 
> > 
> > We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at 
> > Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to 
> > learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a 

> > "must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject 
> > all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from 
> > the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be 

> > turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various 
> > reasons. 
> > 
> > This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the  
> burden of 
> > proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an 
> > escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the 
> > east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case 

> > of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated 
> > species, lack of captive markings, etc.? 
> > 
> > I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are 
> > dealing with this species. 
> > 
> > Thanks! 
> > 
> > Ryan Brady 
> > Washburn, Bayfield County, WI 
> > http://www.pbase.com/rbrady = 
> > 		 	   		  
Subject: Fw: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "Alan Wormington" <wormington AT juno.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 18:39:25 GMT
 "Science": Known presence of Spectacled Eider in Washington: some known to be 
in captivty Known records of Spectacled Eider in Washington that are naturally 
occurring: apparently none Ted: Does your rationale to accept also extend to a 
Spectacled Eider that might show up in either Venezuela, India or New Zealand, 
or is it just limited to the state of Washington? Alan WormingtonLeamington, 
Ontario 


---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Ted Floyd 
To: Steve Mlodinow 
Cc: Kurt Radamaker , Ryan Brady 
, "BRCF-L AT indiana.edu"  

Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:58:31 -0700


Hi, Steve & everybody.
 And sorry, to me the burden of proof on a Spectacled Eider, even in WA, would 
be to show that it is not an escape. Guilty until proven innocent. And 
non-falsifiable. That's good for list purity, not so good for science. All the 
best, Ted Floydtedfloyd57 AT hotmail.comLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA 
Subject: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:58:31 -0700
Hi, Steve & everybody.

And sorry, to me the burden of proof on a Spectacled Eider, even in WA, would 
be to show that it is not an escape. 

Guilty until proven innocent.
And non-falsifiable.
That's good for list purity, not so good for science.
All the best,
Ted Floydtedfloyd57 AT hotmail.comLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA 
Subject: Re: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Steven Mlodinow <sgmlod AT aol.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:45:31 -0600
Greetings All

Being friends with two aviculturalists in WA, I can show you fabulous photos of 
Barnacle Geese.. And Red-breasted Geese, and Tule GWFG, and Spectacled Eider. 
Yes, Spectacled Eider. Now these gents are high end collectors who take great 
care to avoid escapes, but not all are like them, and even they are not 
perfect. 


So, I think that such species should be assessed on ID first. If ID felt to be 
correct, then vote on more-likely-than-not basis regarding origin, realizing 
that such is imperfect. This approach allows all properly identified sightings 
to go on record AND record the committees best assessment as to origin. 


Note that establishing the pattern of ALL free-flying Barnacle Geese would be a 
start to see if a pattern resembling wild vagrancy exists (I am sure it does 
for n Atlantic at least) and where such apparent pattern exists. Fraught with 
potential for error, yes. But a starting point. 


And sorry, to me the burden of proof on a Spectacled Eider, even in WA, would 
be to show that it is not an escape 


Cheers
Steve Mlodinow 


Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 30, 2013, at 11:31 AM, Ted Floyd  wrote:

> I'm 100% in agreement with Kurt on this.
> 
> If a bird shows up in the wild, the "scientific" question, it seems to me, 
is: "Can we convincingly demonstrate that it's not wild?" 

> 
> There are various ways of doing so. If the bird is wearing a band that says 
"Property of the San Diego Zoo," there's a nearly 100% probability it's not 
wild. If it's not banded, but shows various characters indicative of captive 
origin (tameness, unusual feather wear, unusual molt timing, etc.), then we 
might well suspect captive origin. Or maybe it's a species that's some 
combination of common in captivity, not especially prone to vagrancy, and 
native to somewhere far, far away; a White-rumped Shama currently in Colorado, 
USA, would seem to fit the bill. Many of us would say we're highly certain that 
that shama is an escape from captivity. 

> 
> As to Barnacle Geese, though, I'd be inclined to go easy on those. They're 
all over. Some are human assisted, some are not. No biggie. They're here. Let's 
document them. Let's get them into the record. 

> 
> You know, assuming bird records committees are about the science.
> 
> Or they about the purity and integrity of listers' lists? Nothing wrong with 
that--but if that's what BRCs are about, they oughtta say so. 

> 
> And why are we so uptight about human assistance and captive origin? I mean, 
how many rare hummingbirds in the East aren't at feeders? And how do we know 
they weren't captured at some point? And even if they're "naturally occurring 
vagrants," they're really nothing of the sort, as the entire phenomenon of East 
Coast hummingbirds is widely ascribed to human agency: changing climate, exotic 
plants, millions of hummingbird feeders... My policy: Count 'em all. Every one 
of 'em. All those hummingbirds at feeders, yes, and all those Barnacle Geese. 

> 
> Ted Floyd
> tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com
> Lafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
> 
> 
> 
> > From: kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com
> > To: ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com; brcf-l AT indiana.edu
> > Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:48:48 -0700
> > Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
> > 
> > Hi Ryan,
> > 
> > This subject is one that I have railed about over the years and one I'm
> > biased about, so keep that in mind as I rail against conservative bird
> > committees. 
> > 
> > If a committee cannot decide on the provenance of a species, and that is 
the 

> > only hindrance to accepting it, accept it, that is all there is to it. 
> > 
> > I cite the case of the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in New Mexico. You and I and
> > committees can argue all day about the provenance of the Wood-Rail, but in
> > the absence of any real evidence to the contrary, I think it would be
> > arrogant to reject the species because of uncertain origin. 
> > 
> > My fundamental argument for accepting uncertain origin birds like
> > Rufous-necked Wood-Rail is; let the reader decide. Don't presume that you
> > "the committee" are smarter or more knowledgeable than the reader or
> > consumer of the list. One argument I have heard for not accepting an
> > uncertain origin species, is to err on the side of conservatism. What does
> > that even mean? Does it mean don't accept because we don't understand? Does
> > it mean, keep it off the list because we can't decide?
> > 
> > I'm sure many of you on this listserv have formed your own opinions about
> > the Sungrebe that was accepted from Bosque del Apache in New Mexico a few
> > years ago. I personally don't think a Sungrebe has much of chance of making
> > it to New Mexico on its own, but at least now I can look at the checklist
> > and formulate my own decision. I don't have to go digging through years of
> > committee decisions to figure out what species have been excluded from the
> > checklist. I also don't think any of us believe that the New Mexico
> > committee is a bunch of dumb-asses for accepting it. We may disagree with
> > the decision, but we understand why they accepted it.
> > Okay, what If we find out next year that an exotic bird collector in New
> > Mexico had Sungrebes and Rufous-necked Wood-Rails in his collection that
> > escaped. Fine, take them off the list, is that so horrible?
> > 
> > If I'm pouring over the checklist of birds for Wisconsin and I see Barnacle
> > Goose listed as a review species, I get it, I know the issues surrounding
> > the Barnacle Goose in the US, Eastern states have been debating Barnacle
> > Goose reports for years. So let us debate the Wisconsin bird. Don't just
> > kick it under the rug as if it never existed, like so many BRCs in the east
> > have done over the years.
> > 
> > Thanks for listening to my tirade.
> > 
> > Kurt Radamaker
> > Arizona Bird Committee member.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
> > Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:16 PM
> > To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
> > Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
> > 
> > Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
> > Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
> > with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
> > traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.
> > 
> > We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
> > Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
> > learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
> > "must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
> > all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
> > the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
> > turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
> > reasons.
> > 
> > This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden 
of 

> > proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
> > escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
> > east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
> > of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
> > species, lack of captive markings, etc.?
> > 
> > I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
> > dealing with this species.
> > 
> > Thanks!
> > 
> > Ryan Brady
> > Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
> > http://www.pbase.com/rbrady =
> > 
Subject: Re: Fw: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Kurt Radamaker <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:34:39 -0700 (PDT)
BRC folks

Thought experiment:

Let's say I'm doing scientific research to determine all of the elements found 
in a moon rockthat fell to earth. In the moon rock I find minute traces of 
oxygen. However, after several experiments, I'm not certain if the oxygen is 
from contamination or naturally occurring. 


What should be done with the element oxygen. 

a.Selecta committeeto vote on whether the oxygen is naturally occurring 
or contamination 

b. Include oxygen as one of the elements in the moon rock. 
c. Include oxygen as one of the elements with a caveat or footnote. 
d. Exclude oxygen as one of the elements.

Optiond seems to be my least favorite of the choices :-)

Cheers

Kurt Radamaker
Cave Creek, AZ
 

________________________________
 From: Matt Garvey 
To: Alan Wormington  
Cc: brcf-l AT indiana.edu 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
  


Massachusetts recently dealt with this issue, and while still accepting most 
birds as wild, we do think it's important to review all records including known 
escapes, so that folks can have as many relevant factsif they want to delve 
into the thorny (some may say hopeless) issue of provenance. We dealt withtwo 
accepted and a rejected Barnacle Goose record 
here:http://www.maavianrecords.com/report-15. Note that we had similar issues 
to deal with regarding Common Shelduck that year,with two records that 
ultimately did not get accepted by a narrow margin. 


Best,
Matt Garvey
Secretary, Massachusetts Avian Records Committee



On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM, Alan Wormington  wrote:

Geoff
>
>I am fully aware of all the variables involved in this subject matter.
>
>But at the end of the day, I consider it "wishful thinking" that one (anyone) 
is capable of correctly assigning any one particular bird into the "natural 
occurring" category knowing full well that there are escaped birds regularly 
flying about at the same time. And that would apply to all states and 
provinces that lie to the east of Pennsylvania as well. Unless a bird is 
banded, and its origin can be determined, the situation is essentially hopeless 
in my opinion. 

>
>Two springs (?) ago a bird was reported here in Ontario on OntBirds. It 
created a lot of excitement of people were driving considerable distances to 
see the bird. After about a week someone came onto OntBirds stating it was one 
of his birds (he lived about 10 miles away if I recall) and asked where the 
bird was last seen, as he wanted to try to get his bird back and put it back 
into his enclosures. There was never another post made about that bird again! 

>
>
>Alan
>
>
>
>
>
>---------- Forwarded Message ----------
>From: "Geoff Malosh" 
>
>To: 
>Subject: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
>Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 02:07:51 -0400
>
>Alan,
>
>You are correct that the PA committee's analysis zeroed in on the single
>banded Ontario bird, but the committee interpreted that record as
>representative of a larger phenomenon, reasoning that the Ontario bird was
>very likely not the only Barnacle Goose ever to make it to inland North
>America from Europe, even if it can't be quantified exactly how many
>actually have. The Pennsylvania committee (PORC) made an assumption (yes, an
>assumption) that the number of vagrant Barnacle Geese occurring in North
>America is not negligible, and that Pennsylvania in winter lay within a
>reasonable envelope for that occurrence despite the confusion introduced by
>escaped birds; meanwhile Ontario is choosing not to make such an assumption,
>or at any rate not to attempt to quantify it with the acceptance of records
>of unbanded geese. Which approach is correct? Well, since this whole
>business is highly subjective anyway, I suppose reasonable minds may
>disagree.
>
>PORC, for its part, does not reject records of other vagrant waterfowl for
>merely lacking a band. You are also correct, of course, in that there are
>hundreds of Barnacle Geese in captivity, in Ontario, and in many other
>places. There are also many (hundreds?) of Cinnamon Teals, whistling-ducks,
>and the like also in captivity. PORC reasoned that although wild Cinnamon
>Teals are known to occur in the northeast by natural means, any one
>particular Cinnamon Teal observed in the northeast may have escaped. Yet
>despite this, PORC had accepted multiple records of unbanded Cinnamon Teal
>(and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, etc.), and later took the same approach
>with Barnacle Goose once it was shown that Barnacle Goose can occur as a
>vagrant in the region.
>
>Does Ontario have any accepted records of other commonly held captive
>species besides Barnacle Goose that involved unbanded birds, and if so, how
>does Ontario reconcile those records with its treatment of Barnacle Goose?
>Is it the high number of Barnacle Geese in captivity compared to other
>potential escapees? This is an honest question not meant to be
>argumentative, because it certainly illuminates the thinking of the
>committees taking the opposite approach of PORC.
>
>In other replies, Steve Mlodinow said, a pattern of occurrence must be
>established (both wild and escaped) before a decision can be made on birds
>like Barnacle Goose. Unfortunately, this is really not possible to quantify
>unbanded birds with absolute certainty as one or the other, even here in the
>northeast. In the meantime, we do have Barnacle Geese here. I suppose it
>could be said that PORC chose to quantify which of those that have appeared
>in Pennsylvania were reasonably likely to be natural vagrants and, as Kurt
>Radamaker put it, "let the reader decide". Ontario and perhaps other
>committees take a different approach. Wisconsin will be joining the list of
>committees to decide on the same.
>
>Geoff
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:37 AM
>To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
>Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
>
>
>Geoff,
>
>This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has
>one major flaw.
>
>You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail
>to even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now*
>in captivity. In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every
>single month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall.
>
>If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario ---
>where do you think such birds go? If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would
>team up with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go --
>north, or south, or whatever. That might explain why the majority of PA
>records of Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March ---
>exactly the time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state. Even ONE
>escaped bird from Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple
>sightings in both PA and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will
>travel north/south on multiple occasions until it passes away.
>
>Alan
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>---------- Forwarded Message ----------
>From: "Geoff Malosh" 
>To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
>Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
>Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400
>
>Ryan,
>
>The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
>article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
>http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.
>
>I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
>Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
>Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
>in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
>the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
>number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
>and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
>birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
>all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
>early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
>fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
>pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.
>
>Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
>decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
>their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
>adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
>previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
>only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
>Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
>and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
>vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
>long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
>the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
>birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
>the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
>Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
>wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
>waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
>otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese.
>
>These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
>and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
>lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
>record of Barnacle Goose.
>
>Regards,
>Geoff Malosh
>Pittsburgh, PA
>
>
>
>Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
>450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128
>pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html
>===========================================================================
>Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
> Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
> Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com]
>Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
>To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
>Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
>
>Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
>Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
>with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
>traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.
>
>We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
>Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
>learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
>"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
>all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
>the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
>turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
>reasons.
>
>This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
>proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
>escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
>east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
>of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
>species, lack of captive markings, etc.?
>
>I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
>dealing with this species.
>
>Thanks!
>
>Ryan Brady
>Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
>http://www.pbase.com/rbrady
>
>
Subject: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:31:17 -0700
I'm 100% in agreement with Kurt on this.
If a bird shows up in the wild, the "scientific" question, it seems to me, is: 
"Can we convincingly demonstrate that it's not wild?" 

There are various ways of doing so. If the bird is wearing a band that says 
"Property of the San Diego Zoo," there's a nearly 100% probability it's not 
wild. If it's not banded, but shows various characters indicative of captive 
origin (tameness, unusual feather wear, unusual molt timing, etc.), then we 
might well suspect captive origin. Or maybe it's a species that's some 
combination of common in captivity, not especially prone to vagrancy, and 
native to somewhere far, far away; a White-rumped Shama currently in Colorado, 
USA, would seem to fit the bill. Many of us would say we're highly certain that 
that shama is an escape from captivity. 

As to Barnacle Geese, though, I'd be inclined to go easy on those. They're all 
over. Some are human assisted, some are not. No biggie. They're here. Let's 
document them. Let's get them into the record. 

You know, assuming bird records committees are about the science.
Or they about the purity and integrity of listers' lists? Nothing wrong with 
that--but if that's what BRCs are about, they oughtta say so. 

And why are we so uptight about human assistance and captive origin? I mean, 
how many rare hummingbirds in the East aren't at feeders? And how do we know 
they weren't captured at some point? And even if they're "naturally occurring 
vagrants," they're really nothing of the sort, as the entire phenomenon of East 
Coast hummingbirds is widely ascribed to human agency: changing climate, exotic 
plants, millions of hummingbird feeders... My policy: Count 'em all. Every one 
of 'em. All those hummingbirds at feeders, yes, and all those Barnacle Geese. 

Ted Floydtedfloyd57 AT hotmail.comLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA


> From: kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com
> To: ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com; brcf-l AT indiana.edu
> Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:48:48 -0700
> Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
> 
> Hi Ryan,
> 
> This subject is one that I have railed about over the years and one I'm
> biased about, so keep that in mind as I rail against conservative bird
> committees. 
> 
> If a committee cannot decide on the provenance of a species, and that is the
> only hindrance to accepting it, accept it, that is all there is to it. 
> 
> I cite the case of the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in New Mexico. You and I and
> committees can argue all day about the provenance of the Wood-Rail, but in
> the absence of any real evidence to the contrary, I think it would be
> arrogant to reject the species because of uncertain origin. 
> 
> My fundamental argument for accepting uncertain origin birds like
> Rufous-necked Wood-Rail is; let the reader decide. Don't presume that you
> "the committee" are smarter or more knowledgeable than the reader or
> consumer of the list. One argument I have heard for not accepting an
> uncertain origin species, is to err on the side of conservatism. What does
> that even mean? Does it mean don't accept because we don't understand? Does
> it mean, keep it off the list because we can't decide?
> 
> I'm sure many of you on this listserv have formed your own opinions about
> the Sungrebe that was accepted from Bosque del Apache in New Mexico a few
> years ago. I personally don't think a Sungrebe has much of chance of making
> it to New Mexico on its own, but at least now I can look at the checklist
> and formulate my own decision. I don't have to go digging through years of
> committee decisions to figure out what species have been excluded from the
> checklist. I also don't think any of us believe that the New Mexico
> committee is a bunch of dumb-asses for accepting it. We may disagree with
> the decision, but we understand why they accepted it.
> Okay, what If we find out next year that an exotic bird collector in New
> Mexico had Sungrebes and Rufous-necked Wood-Rails in his collection that
> escaped. Fine, take them off the list, is that so horrible?
> 
> If I'm pouring over the checklist of birds for Wisconsin and I see Barnacle
> Goose listed as a review species, I get it, I know the issues surrounding
> the Barnacle Goose in the US, Eastern states have been debating Barnacle
> Goose reports for years. So let us debate the Wisconsin bird. Don't just
> kick it under the rug as if it never existed, like so many BRCs in the east
> have done over the years.
> 
> Thanks for listening to my tirade.
> 
> Kurt Radamaker
> Arizona Bird Committee member.
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
> Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:16 PM
> To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
> Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
> 
> Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
> Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
> with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
> traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.
> 
> We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
> Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
> learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
> "must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
> all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
> the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
> turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
> reasons.
> 
> This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
> proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
> escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
> east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
> of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
> species, lack of captive markings, etc.?
> 
> I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
> dealing with this species.
> 
> Thanks!
> 
> Ryan Brady
> Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
> http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  =
> 
 		 	   		  
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "McCormac, Jim" <Jim.McCormac AT dnr.state.oh.us>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 17:14:58 +0000
The issue of escaped vs. wild waterfowl is certainly a difficult one, and I 
side with Alan on adopting a conservative approach to apparent extralimital 
records of free-flying birds, and agree that a skeptical attitude is warranted. 
We've had "wild" Barnacle Geese appear in Ohio at times when wild migrants 
might be expected to appear, and there is even at least one specimen. A 
Barnacle Goose was collected in Ottawa County in January 1974 in a region that 
teems with wild fowl in winter and migration, along the south shore of Lake 
Erie. I thought someone was going do stable isotope work on this bird in an 
attempt to decipher its origins, but not sure whatever came of that. On that 
note, I also believe that people have looked at isotopes from Barnacle Goose 
specimens elsewhere in North America, and results indicated that at least some 
had originated in far northerly latitudes. 


The big problem is that these attractive geese are often kept in captivity. In 
fact, the diversity of waterfowl species that are kept as captives is 
astonishing, as is the frequency of many species in captivity. A cursory google 
search will reveal the extent of the captive breeding and trade in fowl of many 
species, including about all of the ones that are routinely considered 
vagrants, such as Eurasian Wigeon and Tufted Duck. Some of these species are 
surprisingly inexpensive, too, although a pair of Barnacle Geese will set you 
back about $325.00 at www.efowl.com 


We have lots of breeders and keepers of wild fowl in Ohio, and I doubt our 
state is unique. One time, I and another birder were scoping waterfowl on a 
marsh in March, when an apparent nonbirder rolled up and asked what we saw. 
Turned out he was indeed a nonbirder, but to our amazement he knew every 
species of duck on the water, and had most of these species in captivity at one 
time or another. We picked his brain for a while about the extent of captive 
waterfowl breeding, the types of species involved, and the number of 
enthusiasts out there. We were stunned by the scope of the hobby as reported by 
this gentleman. Another time I crested a hill in eastern Ohio and was surprised 
to see several Hawaiian Geese in a fenced yard, along with Eurasian Wigeon, 
Tufted Duck, Cinnamon Teal and other fare that is relatively frequent in 
captivity. While that's the only time that I've encountered "Nene" in 
captivity, it does show the range of species that people keep. 


Last year, on June 22, a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck appeared on a pond in Mt. 
Vernon, Ohio and quickly made the rare bird alerts. It would have been only the 
third state record, and thus attracted lots of visitors. There was little or no 
discussion of escapees initially, as this species clearly is on the rise with 
an ever-increasing number of extralimital records. On June 28, the 
whistling-duck was joined by a Ringed Teal, a South American species and one 
that few if any would try and make a case for as a wild vagrant. Now, I and 
perhaps a few others were quite suspicious of the Black-bellied 
Whistling-Duck's provenance, but most birders seemed to dismiss the possibility 
of the whistling-duck being anything but a wild vagrant, in spite of the red 
flag of the Ringed Teal's appearance. 


The bird persisted into December, and I think most people had accepted it as a 
wild occurrence. Finally, in mid-December, someone sent me documentation of the 
bird's point of origin - it was part of a captive flock of native North 
American fowl that were kept on a property within one-half mile of where the 
whistling-duck appeared. This farm was also the source of the Ringed Teal, not 
surprisingly. This was one of those relatively rare situations when the 
"smoking gun" turned up - we definitely learned the source of the bird. One 
more Ohio case I can't resist mentioning involved a Harlequin Duck that 
appeared in mid-March 1999 on the Muskingum River, one of our largest streams. 
Harlequins Ducks are rare in Ohio, and incredibly rare away from Lake Erie, so 
it was a big deal. It stuck around a park on this slackwater river and was easy 
to closely approach - its behavior and habitat were distinctly unharlequinlike. 
In spite of this, the bird was nearly universally considered wild, and the one 
or two skeptics were soundly hooted down. By May and on into June, the bird was 
eagerly taking bread scraps from the hand, and most people had come around to 
the fact that it probably wasn't wild (they keep Harlequin Ducks in captivity, 
too!). 


All too often it seems that birders - and sometimes records committee members - 
take the approach that we should prove why a vagrant bird (most notably 
waterfowl) IS NOT wild, when of course we should be approaching it from the 
other direction, in my view - proving it IS wild. This is especially true of 
waterfowl, for obvious reasons. Once a clear pattern of indisputable vagrancy 
is established, the burden of proof perhaps lessens and it becomes less of a 
big deal. It seems like plenty of hard evidence remains to be collected in the 
Barnacle Goose situation before we can start assuming these birds are truly 
wild. 


Jim McCormac
(former Ohio Bird Records Committee secretary) 

Jim McCormac
Ohio Division of Wildlife
2045 Morse Rd., G-2
Columbus, OH 43229
614-265-6440
Keep Ohio Wild, learn how you can help  AT  Wildlife Legacy Stamp
Bird Lake Erie!: www.lakeerieohiobirding.info


-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:17 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: Fw: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Geoff

I am fully aware of all the variables involved in this subject matter.

But at the end of the day, I consider it "wishful thinking" that one (anyone) 
is capable of correctly assigning any one particular bird into the "natural 
occurring" category knowing full well that there are escaped birds regularly 
flying about at the same time. And that would apply to all states and provinces 
that lie to the east of Pennsylvania as well. Unless a bird is banded, and its 
origin can be determined, the situation is essentially hopeless in my opinion. 


Two springs (?) ago a bird was reported here in Ontario on OntBirds. It created 
a lot of excitement of people were driving considerable distances to see the 
bird. After about a week someone came onto OntBirds stating it was one of his 
birds (he lived about 10 miles away if I recall) and asked where the bird was 
last seen, as he wanted to try to get his bird back and put it back into his 
enclosures. There was never another post made about that bird again! 


Alan





---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: 
Subject: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 02:07:51 -0400

Alan, 

You are correct that the PA committee's analysis zeroed in on the single banded 
Ontario bird, but the committee interpreted that record as representative of a 
larger phenomenon, reasoning that the Ontario bird was very likely not the only 
Barnacle Goose ever to make it to inland North America from Europe, even if it 
can't be quantified exactly how many actually have. The Pennsylvania committee 
(PORC) made an assumption (yes, an 

assumption) that the number of vagrant Barnacle Geese occurring in North 
America is not negligible, and that Pennsylvania in winter lay within a 
reasonable envelope for that occurrence despite the confusion introduced by 
escaped birds; meanwhile Ontario is choosing not to make such an assumption, or 
at any rate not to attempt to quantify it with the acceptance of records of 
unbanded geese. Which approach is correct? Well, since this whole business is 
highly subjective anyway, I suppose reasonable minds may disagree. 


PORC, for its part, does not reject records of other vagrant waterfowl for 
merely lacking a band. You are also correct, of course, in that there are 
hundreds of Barnacle Geese in captivity, in Ontario, and in many other places. 
There are also many (hundreds?) of Cinnamon Teals, whistling-ducks, and the 
like also in captivity. PORC reasoned that although wild Cinnamon Teals are 
known to occur in the northeast by natural means, any one particular Cinnamon 
Teal observed in the northeast may have escaped. Yet despite this, PORC had 
accepted multiple records of unbanded Cinnamon Teal (and Black-bellied 
Whistling-Duck, etc.), and later took the same approach with Barnacle Goose 
once it was shown that Barnacle Goose can occur as a vagrant in the region. 


Does Ontario have any accepted records of other commonly held captive species 
besides Barnacle Goose that involved unbanded birds, and if so, how does 
Ontario reconcile those records with its treatment of Barnacle Goose? 

Is it the high number of Barnacle Geese in captivity compared to other 
potential escapees? This is an honest question not meant to be argumentative, 
because it certainly illuminates the thinking of the committees taking the 
opposite approach of PORC. 


In other replies, Steve Mlodinow said, a pattern of occurrence must be 
established (both wild and escaped) before a decision can be made on birds like 
Barnacle Goose. Unfortunately, this is really not possible to quantify unbanded 
birds with absolute certainty as one or the other, even here in the northeast. 
In the meantime, we do have Barnacle Geese here. I suppose it could be said 
that PORC chose to quantify which of those that have appeared in Pennsylvania 
were reasonably likely to be natural vagrants and, as Kurt Radamaker put it, 
"let the reader decide". Ontario and perhaps other committees take a different 
approach. Wisconsin will be joining the list of committees to decide on the 
same. 


Geoff

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:37 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

 
Geoff,

This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has 
one major flaw. 


You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail to 
even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now* in 
captivity. In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every single 
month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall. 


If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario --- where 
do you think such birds go? If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would team up 
with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go -- north, or 
south, or whatever. That might explain why the majority of PA records of 
Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March --- exactly the 
time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state. Even ONE escaped bird from 
Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple sightings in both PA 
and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will travel north/south on 
multiple occasions until it passes away. 


Alan







---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400

Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009 
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here: 

http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The 
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in Ontario 
in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant in the 
interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for the 
Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a number of 
other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long and growing 
catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild birds, but the 
Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and all records of 
unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and early 2000s were not 
accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the fact that many committee 
members thought that the species was establishing a pattern of natural 
occurrence in the region in those years. 


Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee decided 
in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of their newly 
proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania adopted a less 
conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine previously rejected 
records of the species, all of which had been rejected only on questions of 
provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate Barnacle Geese like any other 
vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. 
Both of those species are very rare vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both 
kept in captivity, yet both have long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list 
despite the fact that none of the records of either species in Pennsylvania 
involved banded, "proven" 

birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in the 
region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the 
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially wild. 
In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant waterfowl 
(in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven otherwise", which 
came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 


These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November and 
March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also lists 
the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a record of 
Barnacle Goose. 


Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128 
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html 

===========================================================================
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records Committee 
and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list with questions 
about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much traffic but I figured 
I should give it a whirl. 


We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at 
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to learn 
how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a "must be 
proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject all records 
until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from the east coast 
and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be turning with more 
folks accepting of possible wild origins for various reasons. 


This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of 
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an 
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the east, 
that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case of high 
probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated species, lack 
of captive markings, etc.? 


I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are 
dealing with this species. 


Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  


Subject: Re: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Kurt Radamaker <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 09:52:11 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Alan,

In Arizonawe had aDouble-striped Thick-knee show up at a golf course pond in 
Yuma. Lots of birders went to see the bird and lots of debate and argument was 
bantered around about origin. The Thick-knee finally made it to the local 
newspaper. Alledgedly, the owner of the Thick-knee saw the article in the paper 
and went to the pond to fetch his bird. 


Kurt
 

________________________________
 From: Alan Wormington 
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 8:16 AM
Subject: Fw: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
  

Geoff

I am fully aware of all the variables involved in this subject matter.

But at the end of the day, I consider it "wishful thinking" that one (anyone) 
is capable of correctly assigning any one particular bird into the "natural 
occurring" category knowing full well that there are escaped birds regularly 
flying about at the same time. And that would apply to all states and 
provinces that lie to the east of Pennsylvania as well. Unless a bird is 
banded, and its origin can be determined, the situation is essentially hopeless 
in my opinion. 


Two springs (?) ago a bird was reported here in Ontario on OntBirds. It 
created a lot of excitement of people were driving considerable distances to 
see the bird. After about a week someone came onto OntBirds stating it was one 
of his birds (he lived about 10 miles away if I recall) and asked where the 
bird was last seen, as he wanted to try to get his bird back and put it back 
into his enclosures. There was never another post made about that bird again! 


Alan





---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: 
Subject: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 02:07:51 -0400

Alan, 

You are correct that the PA committee's analysis zeroed in on the single
banded Ontario bird, but the committee interpreted that record as
representative of a larger phenomenon, reasoning that the Ontario bird was
very likely not the only Barnacle Goose ever to make it to inland North
America from Europe, even if it can't be quantified exactly how many
actually have. The Pennsylvania committee (PORC) made an assumption (yes, an
assumption) that the number of vagrant Barnacle Geese occurring in North
America is not negligible, and that Pennsylvania in winter lay within a
reasonable envelope for that occurrence despite the confusion introduced by
escaped birds; meanwhile Ontario is choosing not to make such an assumption,
or at any rate not to attempt to quantify it with the acceptance of records
of unbanded geese. Which approach is correct? Well, since this whole
business is highly subjective anyway, I suppose reasonable minds may
disagree. 

PORC, for its part, does not reject records of other vagrant waterfowl for
merely lacking a band. You are also correct, of course, in that there are
hundreds of Barnacle Geese in captivity, in Ontario, and in many other
places. There are also many (hundreds?) of Cinnamon Teals, whistling-ducks,
and the like also in captivity. PORC reasoned that although wild Cinnamon
Teals are known to occur in the northeast by natural means, any one
particular Cinnamon Teal observed in the northeast may have escaped. Yet
despite this, PORC had accepted multiple records of unbanded Cinnamon Teal
(and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, etc.), and later took the same approach
with Barnacle Goose once it was shown that Barnacle Goose can occur as a
vagrant in the region.

Does Ontario have any accepted records of other commonly held captive
species besides Barnacle Goose that involved unbanded birds, and if so, how
does Ontario reconcile those records with its treatment of Barnacle Goose?
Is it the high number of Barnacle Geese in captivity compared to other
potential escapees? This is an honest question not meant to be
argumentative, because it certainly illuminates the thinking of the
committees taking the opposite approach of PORC. 

In other replies, Steve Mlodinow said, a pattern of occurrence must be
established (both wild and escaped) before a decision can be made on birds
like Barnacle Goose. Unfortunately, this is really not possible to quantify
unbanded birds with absolute certainty as one or the other, even here in the
northeast. In the meantime, we do have Barnacle Geese here. I suppose it
could be said that PORC chose to quantify which of those that have appeared
in Pennsylvania were reasonably likely to be natural vagrants and, as Kurt
Radamaker put it, "let the reader decide". Ontario and perhaps other
committees take a different approach. Wisconsin will be joining the list of
committees to decide on the same.

Geoff

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:37 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records


Geoff,

This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has
one major flaw.

You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail
to even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now*
in captivity. In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every
single month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall.

If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario ---
where do you think such birds go? If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would
team up with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go --
north, or south, or whatever. That might explain why the majority of PA
records of Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March ---
exactly the time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state. Even ONE
escaped bird from Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple
sightings in both PA and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will
travel north/south on multiple occasions until it passes away.

Alan







---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400

Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.

Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 

These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
record of Barnacle Goose.

Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html
===========================================================================
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
 Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
 Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady          
Subject: Re: Fw: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Matt Garvey <mattpgarvey AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:01:09 -0400
Massachusetts recently dealt with this issue, and while still accepting
most birds as wild, we do think it's important to review all records
including known escapes, so that folks can have as many relevant facts if
they want to delve into the thorny (some may say hopeless) issue of
provenance. We dealt with two accepted and a rejected Barnacle Goose record
here:  http://www.maavianrecords.com/report-15. Note that we had similar
issues to deal with regarding Common Shelduck that year, with two records
that ultimately did not get accepted by a narrow margin.

Best,
Matt Garvey
Secretary, Massachusetts Avian Records Committee


On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM, Alan Wormington wrote:

> Geoff
>
> I am fully aware of all the variables involved in this subject matter.
>
> But at the end of the day, I consider it "wishful thinking" that one
> (anyone) is capable of correctly assigning any one particular bird into the
> "natural occurring" category knowing full well that there are escaped birds
> regularly flying about at the same time.  And that would apply to all
> states and provinces that lie to the east of Pennsylvania as well.  Unless
> a bird is banded, and its origin can be determined, the situation is
> essentially hopeless in my opinion.
>
> Two springs (?) ago a bird was reported here in Ontario on OntBirds.  It
> created a lot of excitement of people were driving considerable distances
> to see the bird.  After about a week someone came onto OntBirds stating it
> was one of his birds (he lived about 10 miles away if I recall) and asked
> where the bird was last seen, as he wanted to try to get his bird back and
> put it back into his enclosures.  There was never another post made about
> that bird again!
>
> Alan
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
> From: "Geoff Malosh" 
> To: 
> Subject: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
> Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 02:07:51 -0400
>
> Alan,
>
> You are correct that the PA committee's analysis zeroed in on the single
> banded Ontario bird, but the committee interpreted that record as
> representative of a larger phenomenon, reasoning that the Ontario bird was
> very likely not the only Barnacle Goose ever to make it to inland North
> America from Europe, even if it can't be quantified exactly how many
> actually have. The Pennsylvania committee (PORC) made an assumption (yes,
> an
> assumption) that the number of vagrant Barnacle Geese occurring in North
> America is not negligible, and that Pennsylvania in winter lay within a
> reasonable envelope for that occurrence despite the confusion introduced by
> escaped birds; meanwhile Ontario is choosing not to make such an
> assumption,
> or at any rate not to attempt to quantify it with the acceptance of records
> of unbanded geese. Which approach is correct? Well, since this whole
> business is highly subjective anyway, I suppose reasonable minds may
> disagree.
>
> PORC, for its part, does not reject records of other vagrant waterfowl for
> merely lacking a band. You are also correct, of course, in that there are
> hundreds of Barnacle Geese in captivity, in Ontario, and in many other
> places. There are also many (hundreds?) of Cinnamon Teals, whistling-ducks,
> and the like also in captivity. PORC reasoned that although wild Cinnamon
> Teals are known to occur in the northeast by natural means, any one
> particular Cinnamon Teal observed in the northeast may have escaped. Yet
> despite this, PORC had accepted multiple records of unbanded Cinnamon Teal
> (and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, etc.), and later took the same approach
> with Barnacle Goose once it was shown that Barnacle Goose can occur as a
> vagrant in the region.
>
> Does Ontario have any accepted records of other commonly held captive
> species besides Barnacle Goose that involved unbanded birds, and if so, how
> does Ontario reconcile those records with its treatment of Barnacle Goose?
> Is it the high number of Barnacle Geese in captivity compared to other
> potential escapees? This is an honest question not meant to be
> argumentative, because it certainly illuminates the thinking of the
> committees taking the opposite approach of PORC.
>
> In other replies, Steve Mlodinow said, a pattern of occurrence must be
> established (both wild and escaped) before a decision can be made on birds
> like Barnacle Goose. Unfortunately, this is really not possible to quantify
> unbanded birds with absolute certainty as one or the other, even here in
> the
> northeast. In the meantime, we do have Barnacle Geese here. I suppose it
> could be said that PORC chose to quantify which of those that have appeared
> in Pennsylvania were reasonably likely to be natural vagrants and, as Kurt
> Radamaker put it, "let the reader decide". Ontario and perhaps other
> committees take a different approach. Wisconsin will be joining the list of
> committees to decide on the same.
>
> Geoff
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:37 AM
> To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
> Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
>
>
> Geoff,
>
> This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it
> has
> one major flaw.
>
> You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you
> fail
> to even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now*
> in captivity.  In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every
> single month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and
> fall.
>
> If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario ---
> where do you think such birds go?  If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I
> would
> team up with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go
> --
> north, or south, or whatever.  That might explain why the majority of PA
> records of Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March ---
> exactly the time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state.  Even ONE
> escaped bird from Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple
> sightings in both PA and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will
> travel north/south on multiple occasions until it passes away.
>
> Alan
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
> From: "Geoff Malosh" 
> To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
> Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
> Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400
>
> Ryan,
>
> The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a
> 2009
> article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
> http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.
>
> I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
> Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
> Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a
> vagrant
> in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
> the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
> number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
> and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
> birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively,
> and
> all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
> early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
> fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing
> a
> pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.
>
> Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
> decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
> their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
> adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
> previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
> only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
> Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
> and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
> vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
> long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
> the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
> birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
> the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
> Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
> wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
> waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
> otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese.
>
> These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
> and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above
> also
> lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
> record of Barnacle Goose.
>
> Regards,
> Geoff Malosh
> Pittsburgh, PA
>
>
>
> Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
> 450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128
> pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html
> ===========================================================================
> Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
>   Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
>   Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
> To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
> Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
>
> Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
> Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
> with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
> traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.
>
> We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
> Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
> learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
> "must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
> all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
> the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
> turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
> reasons.
>
> This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden
> of
> proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
> escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
> east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
> of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
> species, lack of captive markings, etc.?
>
> I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
> dealing with this species.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Ryan Brady
> Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
> http://www.pbase.com/rbrady
>
>
Subject: Fw: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "Alan Wormington" <wormington AT juno.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:16:51 GMT
Geoff

I am fully aware of all the variables involved in this subject matter.

But at the end of the day, I consider it "wishful thinking" that one (anyone) 
is capable of correctly assigning any one particular bird into the "natural 
occurring" category knowing full well that there are escaped birds regularly 
flying about at the same time. And that would apply to all states and provinces 
that lie to the east of Pennsylvania as well. Unless a bird is banded, and its 
origin can be determined, the situation is essentially hopeless in my opinion. 


Two springs (?) ago a bird was reported here in Ontario on OntBirds. It created 
a lot of excitement of people were driving considerable distances to see the 
bird. After about a week someone came onto OntBirds stating it was one of his 
birds (he lived about 10 miles away if I recall) and asked where the bird was 
last seen, as he wanted to try to get his bird back and put it back into his 
enclosures. There was never another post made about that bird again! 


Alan





---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: 
Subject: RE: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 02:07:51 -0400

Alan, 

You are correct that the PA committee's analysis zeroed in on the single
banded Ontario bird, but the committee interpreted that record as
representative of a larger phenomenon, reasoning that the Ontario bird was
very likely not the only Barnacle Goose ever to make it to inland North
America from Europe, even if it can't be quantified exactly how many
actually have. The Pennsylvania committee (PORC) made an assumption (yes, an
assumption) that the number of vagrant Barnacle Geese occurring in North
America is not negligible, and that Pennsylvania in winter lay within a
reasonable envelope for that occurrence despite the confusion introduced by
escaped birds; meanwhile Ontario is choosing not to make such an assumption,
or at any rate not to attempt to quantify it with the acceptance of records
of unbanded geese. Which approach is correct? Well, since this whole
business is highly subjective anyway, I suppose reasonable minds may
disagree. 

PORC, for its part, does not reject records of other vagrant waterfowl for
merely lacking a band. You are also correct, of course, in that there are
hundreds of Barnacle Geese in captivity, in Ontario, and in many other
places. There are also many (hundreds?) of Cinnamon Teals, whistling-ducks,
and the like also in captivity. PORC reasoned that although wild Cinnamon
Teals are known to occur in the northeast by natural means, any one
particular Cinnamon Teal observed in the northeast may have escaped. Yet
despite this, PORC had accepted multiple records of unbanded Cinnamon Teal
(and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, etc.), and later took the same approach
with Barnacle Goose once it was shown that Barnacle Goose can occur as a
vagrant in the region.

Does Ontario have any accepted records of other commonly held captive
species besides Barnacle Goose that involved unbanded birds, and if so, how
does Ontario reconcile those records with its treatment of Barnacle Goose?
Is it the high number of Barnacle Geese in captivity compared to other
potential escapees? This is an honest question not meant to be
argumentative, because it certainly illuminates the thinking of the
committees taking the opposite approach of PORC. 

In other replies, Steve Mlodinow said, a pattern of occurrence must be
established (both wild and escaped) before a decision can be made on birds
like Barnacle Goose. Unfortunately, this is really not possible to quantify
unbanded birds with absolute certainty as one or the other, even here in the
northeast. In the meantime, we do have Barnacle Geese here. I suppose it
could be said that PORC chose to quantify which of those that have appeared
in Pennsylvania were reasonably likely to be natural vagrants and, as Kurt
Radamaker put it, "let the reader decide". Ontario and perhaps other
committees take a different approach. Wisconsin will be joining the list of
committees to decide on the same.

Geoff

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:37 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

 
Geoff,

This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has
one major flaw.

You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail
to even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now*
in captivity.  In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every
single month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall.

If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario ---
where do you think such birds go?  If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would
team up with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go --
north, or south, or whatever.  That might explain why the majority of PA
records of Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March ---
exactly the time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state.  Even ONE
escaped bird from Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple
sightings in both PA and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will
travel north/south on multiple occasions until it passes away.

Alan







---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400

Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.

Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 

These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
record of Barnacle Goose.

Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html
===========================================================================
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  
Subject: RE: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "Geoff Malosh" <pomarine AT earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 02:07:51 -0400
Alan, 

You are correct that the PA committee's analysis zeroed in on the single
banded Ontario bird, but the committee interpreted that record as
representative of a larger phenomenon, reasoning that the Ontario bird was
very likely not the only Barnacle Goose ever to make it to inland North
America from Europe, even if it can't be quantified exactly how many
actually have. The Pennsylvania committee (PORC) made an assumption (yes, an
assumption) that the number of vagrant Barnacle Geese occurring in North
America is not negligible, and that Pennsylvania in winter lay within a
reasonable envelope for that occurrence despite the confusion introduced by
escaped birds; meanwhile Ontario is choosing not to make such an assumption,
or at any rate not to attempt to quantify it with the acceptance of records
of unbanded geese. Which approach is correct? Well, since this whole
business is highly subjective anyway, I suppose reasonable minds may
disagree. 

PORC, for its part, does not reject records of other vagrant waterfowl for
merely lacking a band. You are also correct, of course, in that there are
hundreds of Barnacle Geese in captivity, in Ontario, and in many other
places. There are also many (hundreds?) of Cinnamon Teals, whistling-ducks,
and the like also in captivity. PORC reasoned that although wild Cinnamon
Teals are known to occur in the northeast by natural means, any one
particular Cinnamon Teal observed in the northeast may have escaped. Yet
despite this, PORC had accepted multiple records of unbanded Cinnamon Teal
(and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, etc.), and later took the same approach
with Barnacle Goose once it was shown that Barnacle Goose can occur as a
vagrant in the region.

Does Ontario have any accepted records of other commonly held captive
species besides Barnacle Goose that involved unbanded birds, and if so, how
does Ontario reconcile those records with its treatment of Barnacle Goose?
Is it the high number of Barnacle Geese in captivity compared to other
potential escapees? This is an honest question not meant to be
argumentative, because it certainly illuminates the thinking of the
committees taking the opposite approach of PORC. 

In other replies, Steve Mlodinow said, a pattern of occurrence must be
established (both wild and escaped) before a decision can be made on birds
like Barnacle Goose. Unfortunately, this is really not possible to quantify
unbanded birds with absolute certainty as one or the other, even here in the
northeast. In the meantime, we do have Barnacle Geese here. I suppose it
could be said that PORC chose to quantify which of those that have appeared
in Pennsylvania were reasonably likely to be natural vagrants and, as Kurt
Radamaker put it, "let the reader decide". Ontario and perhaps other
committees take a different approach. Wisconsin will be joining the list of
committees to decide on the same.

Geoff

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Wormington [mailto:wormington AT juno.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:37 AM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

 
Geoff,

This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has
one major flaw.

You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail
to even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now*
in captivity.  In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every
single month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall.

If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario ---
where do you think such birds go?  If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would
team up with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go --
north, or south, or whatever.  That might explain why the majority of PA
records of Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March ---
exactly the time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state.  Even ONE
escaped bird from Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple
sightings in both PA and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will
travel north/south on multiple occasions until it passes away.

Alan







---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400

Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.

Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 

These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
record of Barnacle Goose.

Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html
===========================================================================
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  

Subject: Re: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Steven Mlodinow <sgmlod AT aol.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 01:07:47 -0400 (EDT)
Greetings All


I would take Alan's comments most seriously. There are multiple records for 
nearly all of the Lower 48 States. When Michael O'Brien and I wrote "America's 
100 Most Wanted Birds," we did not include Canada. AK, HA... so I am less 
familiar with patterns there, but I'd bet there have been Barnacle Geese in all 
w. Canadian provinces as well. 




I have a friend in WA who, in the same fall, watched a Barnacle Goose fly south 
along the shores of the Puget Sound... and a nice fat Graylag, too. 




To really identify a pattern, a current thorough record of all sightings "in 
the wild," including known escaped and wild birds, would need to be done as a 
starting point. If you find that Wisconsin has the same number of reports as 
Oklahoma, you know you have a problem... 



Cheers
Steven Mlodinow


-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Wormington 
To: brcf-l 
Sent: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 10:38 pm
Subject: Fw: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records


 
Geoff,

This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has 
one 

major flaw.

You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail to 

even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now* in 
captivity.  In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every single 
month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall.

If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario --- where 

do you think such birds go?  If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would team up 
with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go -- north, or 
south, or whatever.  That might explain why the majority of PA records of 
Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March --- exactly the 
time 

when Canada Geese are abundant in the state.  Even ONE escaped bird from 
Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple sightings in both PA 
and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will travel north/south on 
multiple occasions until it passes away.

Alan







---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400

Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.

Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 

These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
record of Barnacle Goose.

Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds 
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128  
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html 
=========================================================================== 
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology 
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html 
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  


 
Subject: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "Kurt Radamaker" <kurtrad AT mexicobirding.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:48:48 -0700
Hi Ryan,

This subject is one that I have railed about over the years and one I'm
biased about, so keep that in mind as I rail against conservative bird
committees. 

If a committee cannot decide on the provenance of a species, and that is the
only hindrance to accepting it, accept it, that is all there is to it. 

I cite the case of the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in New Mexico. You and I and
committees can argue all day about the provenance of the Wood-Rail, but in
the absence of any real evidence to the contrary, I think it would be
arrogant to reject the species because of uncertain origin. 

My fundamental argument for accepting uncertain origin birds like
Rufous-necked Wood-Rail is; let the reader decide. Don't presume that you
"the committee" are smarter or more knowledgeable than the reader or
consumer of the list. One argument I have heard for not accepting an
uncertain origin species, is to err on the side of conservatism. What does
that even mean? Does it mean don't accept because we don't understand? Does
it mean, keep it off the list because we can't decide?

I'm sure many of you on this listserv have formed your own opinions about
the Sungrebe that was accepted from Bosque del Apache in New Mexico a few
years ago. I personally don't think a Sungrebe has much of chance of making
it to New Mexico on its own, but at least now I can look at the checklist
and formulate my own decision. I don't have to go digging through years of
committee decisions to figure out what species have been excluded from the
checklist. I also don't think any of us believe that the New Mexico
committee is a bunch of dumb-asses for accepting it. We may disagree with
the decision, but we understand why they accepted it.
Okay, what If we find out next year that an exotic bird collector in New
Mexico had Sungrebes and Rufous-necked Wood-Rails in his collection that
escaped. Fine, take them off the list, is that so horrible?

If I'm pouring over the checklist of birds for Wisconsin and I see Barnacle
Goose listed as a review species, I get it, I know the issues surrounding
the Barnacle Goose in the US, Eastern states have been debating Barnacle
Goose reports for years. So let us debate the Wisconsin bird. Don't just
kick it under the rug as if it never existed, like so many BRCs in the east
have done over the years.

Thanks for listening to my tirade.

Kurt Radamaker
Arizona Bird Committee member.



-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  =
Subject: Fw: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "Alan Wormington" <wormington AT juno.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 04:36:44 GMT
 
Geoff,

This is a well-written account with good rationale, but unfortunately it has 
one major flaw. 


You are zeroing in on the single, proven wild, bird in Ontario, but you fail to 
even mention the "hundreds" that are known to be in Ontario *right now* in 
captivity. In Ontario we have records of free-flying birds for every single 
month of the year, although most are concentrated in spring and fall. 


If a bird (or birds) escapes --- NUMEROUS proven instances in Ontario --- where 
do you think such birds go? If I was a lonely Barnacle Goose, I would team up 
with a flock of Canada Geese and tag along wherever they might go -- north, or 
south, or whatever. That might explain why the majority of PA records of 
Barnacle Goose are for the time period of November to March --- exactly the 
time when Canada Geese are abundant in the state. Even ONE escaped bird from 
Ontario, if it was long-lived, could account for multiple sightings in both PA 
and adjacent states, based on the fact that it will travel north/south on 
multiple occasions until it passes away. 


Alan







---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: "Geoff Malosh" 
To: "'BRCF-L AT indiana.edu'" 
Subject: RE: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400

Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.

Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 

These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
record of Barnacle Goose.

Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds 
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128  
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html 
=========================================================================== 
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology 
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html 
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  
Subject: RE: Barnacle Goose Records
From: "Geoff Malosh" <pomarine AT earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:16:00 -0400
Ryan,

The Pennsylvania committee's approach to this species was detailed in a 2009
article that appeared in the journal Pennsylvania Birds, archived here:
http://www.pabirds.org/PABIRDS/BackIssues/PBV22N4.pdf.

I saw your post and Alan Wormington's response over on ID-Frontiers. The
Ontario bird mentioned by Alan that was banded in Scotland and shot in
Ontario in 2005 was proof that Barnacle Goose does indeed occur as a vagrant
in the interior of northeastern North America. This was a turning point for
the Pennsylvania committee's stance on the species, and I suspect for a
number of other committees too. Up to that point, Pennsylvania had a long
and growing catalog of Barnacle Goose records that could have been of wild
birds, but the Pennsylvania committee always judged them conservatively, and
all records of unbanded, "wild-looking" Barnacle Geese from the 1990s and
early 2000s were not accepted on grounds of unknown provenance, despite the
fact that many committee members thought that the species was establishing a
pattern of natural occurrence in the region in those years.

Once the Ontario bird became known, however, the Pennsylvania committee
decided in 2008 to reevaluate all records of Barnacle Goose in light of
their newly proven vagrancy to North America. In the end, Pennsylvania
adopted a less conservative policy than Ontario's, and accepted nine
previously rejected records of the species, all of which had been rejected
only on questions of provenance. Going forward, they began to evaluate
Barnacle Geese like any other vagrant waterfowl, for example, Cinnamon Teal
and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Both of those species are very rare
vagrants to Pennsylvania and are also both kept in captivity, yet both have
long been accepted to the Pennsylvania list despite the fact that none of
the records of either species in Pennsylvania involved banded, "proven"
birds. In general, the existence of a known pattern of natural vagrancy in
the region (which was now proven for Barnacle Goose) was enough for the
Pennsylvania committee to consider any vagrant waterfowl as potentially
wild. In practice, Pennsylvania's committee usually approached all vagrant
waterfowl (in my time on the committee, anyway) as "wild until proven
otherwise", which came to include evaluations of Barnacle Geese. 

These days Barnacle Goose is nearly annual in Pennsylvania between November
and March, and is still a review species here. The article linked above also
lists the Pennsylvania committee's standing criteria for acceptance of a
record of Barnacle Goose.

Regards,
Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, PA



Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds 
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128  
pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html 
=========================================================================== 
Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology 
  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html 
  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm




-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Brady [mailto:ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:16 PM
To: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Barnacle Goose Records

Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records
Committee and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list
with questions about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much
traffic but I figured I should give it a whirl.

We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to
learn how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a
"must be proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject
all records until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from
the east coast and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be
turning with more folks accepting of possible wild origins for various
reasons.

This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the
east, that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case
of high probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated
species, lack of captive markings, etc.?

I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are
dealing with this species.

Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  
Subject: Barnacle Goose Records
From: Ryan Brady <ryanbrady10 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 20:16:26 -0600
Hi all, I'm Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology's Records Committee 
and have been inappropriately spamming up the ID-Frontiers list with questions 
about Barnacle Geese. This list doesn't seem to get much traffic but I figured 
I should give it a whirl. 


We are reviewing a Barnacle Goose seen here in WI in mid-December 2012 at 
Horicon Marsh, the largest goose staging site in the state. I'm trying to learn 
how other RC's are currently dealing with this species. Ontario has a "must be 
proven wild" policy and Missouri indicated they currently reject all records 
until a pattern of proven wilds can be demonstrated away from the east coast 
and in the Midwest. Clearly, however, the tide appears to be turning with more 
folks accepting of possible wild origins for various reasons. 


This seems to be an issue that rests largely on where one puts the burden of 
proof. Are there enough escapees and so few wilds such that a bird is an 
escapee until proven wild. Or have things changed enough, at least in the east, 
that proof of wild origin is no longer necessary if one builds a case of high 
probability based on location, time of year, behavior, associated species, lack 
of captive markings, etc.? 


I'd very interested in discussion of this topic and how other states are 
dealing with this species. 


Thanks!

Ryan Brady
Washburn, Bayfield County, WI
http://www.pbase.com/rbrady 		 	   		  
Subject: New to the Official List of MD Birds - Herald Petrel and White-tailed Tropicbird
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 03:17:22 -0400
BRCF-L:

The Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee (MD/DCRC), a 
standing committee of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS), just 
posted updates to our web page. Accepted and added to the Official 
List of the Birds of Maryland are two new pelagic (open water) 
species: Herald Petrel, and White-tailed Tropicbird. This raises the 
total number of species on the Maryland list to 447.

Herald Petrel. The dark morph Herald Petrel (Trindade) was observed 
and photographed by many birders in Maryland waters on an 08/25/2012 
pelagic trip, run out of Lewes, DE. The location was about 97 miles 
east southeast of Ocean City and about 26 miles east of Baltimore 
Canyon. This was the first report and first record for Maryland. Some 
photos can be found here ... 
http://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/viewSpecies.php?species=6223

White-tailed Tropicbird. The adult White-tailed Tropicbird was 
observed and photographed on 07/13/2011 by a very experience birder 
onboard a NOAA ship while doing survey work. The location was about 
72 miles southeast of Ocean City, about 12 miles south of Accomac 
Canyon. This was also the first report and first record for Maryland. 
Photos can be found here ... http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonxie88/5935570772/

Note: The location where the White-tailed Tropicbird was observed 
falls within the recently revised Maryland pelagic boundaries, 
adopted by the MD/DCRC at its latest Annual Meeting. Details of these 
revised pelagic boundaries can be found in Appendix A to the MD/DCRC 
2013 Annual Meeting Minutes and Business Report (starting on page 30) 
at this link ... http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/rcannual2013.pdf


Updated MD/DCRC web products can be found on our web page at the 
following links ...


Official List of the Birds of Maryland
         http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/mdlist.pdf

Maryland Review List
         http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/mdreview.pdf

Chronology of Species added to the Official Maryland List
         http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/mdchron.pdf

MD/DCRC Maryland Database (abridged)
         http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/mddatabase.pdf   (note: 
large PDF document - do not print!)

Status of Recent MD/DCRC Review Packages
         http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/rcpackages.pdf

MD/DCRC Identification and Reference Index
         http://www.mdbirds.org/mddcrc/pdf/rcbibliog.pdf


Note: See Life Paulagics will be running another summer pelagic trip 
into Maryland waters from Lewes, DE on 16-17 August this year. 
Details can be found here ... 

http://www.paulagics.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=94&Itemid=118 


Thanks to the MOS Webmaster, John Christy, for posting these updates!

Phil


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
===================================================
Subject: Update from the 2013 OBRC Policy meeting
From: Brandon Holden <peregrine13 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 15:30:26 -0400
Back on Jan 17th, I posted a request here for opinions from other
records groups on topics of particular interest to an upcoming Ontario
Bird Records Committee (OBRC) policy meeting (held Jan 30th), and
wanted to provide an update on some decisions made. My main three
questions on Jan 17th:


1. Appointing new members: previously the OBRC only took nominations
for new members from within. Alan Wormington pointed out later that
there was a 15+ year period where members of the Ontario Field
Ornithologists (OFO) were allowed to nominate members, but none were
received so the provision was dropped. Yet as we solicited opinions on
how to improve, there was a large number of responses from people who
felt the OBRC was an "old boys club". Thanks to many opinions we
received on the subject, it was decided that we will begin to solicit
nominations from the birding community (likely through our provincial
listserv) - yet the actual elections of members will remain within the
OBRC itself. This may seem like a trivial change to some, however we
feel that without the support of the birding community (through
submission of records), we would not function properly. Therefore any
change that is viewed as positive was typically supported, as was the
case here.


2. Re-review of past records: This appears to be a major issue with
BRC's. Our past guidelines stated that re-review would only be done if
"new and substantive documentary evidence was made available". In
order to allow for easier re-review where a current member, the policy
was changed to state "if new and substantive evidence was made
available". This opens the door for a member to request a re-review of
a past record where they feel an error has been made. They can present
their case, yet still requires a majority vote of the current member
for the process to begin. As you might expect, some are happy with
this change - and some are not.


3. Public Relations - a generic BRC problem, we are striving to
improve public relations. It was felt that the biggest improvement the
OBRC could make in public relations is to make everything we do
available to the birding public in an accessible location. A major
idea that encompasses this idea is to begin work on an OBRC specific
website (to be www.obrc.ca). It was felt like many records committees
around North America and elsewhere have their own domain, yet we
simply had a section on the OFO website. The goal will be to make it
basic to view, yet full of information including our purpose and
goals, our review lists, annual reports, our complete operating
guidelines, meeting minutes, membership etc... Some feel like much of
this information should be kept internally, however the voting members
present at the meeting agreed this would be a good starting point in
improving P.R. by being more open in general.


A generic update was posted to the Ontbirds listserv to update the
birding community as well, detailing some topics not brought up on
this forum. A link is provided here for review for those interested in
reviewing it: 
http://ontbirds.ca/pipermail/birdalert_ontbirds.ca/Week-of-Mon-20130401/033095.html 

. Many thanks to those who provided comments! Your responses were
extremely helpful as we debated various topics that arose during the
meeting.

Brandon


Brandon Holden
2012/2013 OBRC Chair
Hamilton, Ontario
www.PeregrinePrints.com
Subject: Re: Voting on "continuing" and "repeat" records
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 03 May 2013 04:10:55 -0700
Like Nevada, "same bird" questions are decided by a simple majority vote.
Members are asked when voting to indicate if they think it is...

A.  Probably the Same Bird
B.  Possibly the Same Bird
C.  Do not know.  

Option C means that abstentions are allowed.  However, none of this is
specifically outlined in our by-laws and it remains unclear whether the
"majority" is a majority of the committee or a majority of those having an
opinion.  This is something I would like to see clarified.  

For our purposes a vote of "Probably the Same Bird" is counted as a vote
that the bird IS the same.  But a vote of "Possibly the Same" is counted as
a vote that it is different.  In other words, the mere possibility that two
records involve the same bird is not enough to regard them as the same.
There needs to be a stronger probability. 

We had cases where a record had been accepted, but after returning for
another year, was not going to be accepted even though the majority thought
it was the same bird.  To deal with this I introduced the following
language, "Accepted records of individual birds returning or continuing
through subsequent years shall be treated the same as any other
resubmission of an accepted record. A majority vote determines whether a
record is to be treated as a resubmission of a returning or continuing
bird."  

Accepted records require a simple majority vote to overturn their
acceptance, rather than the super-majority of 8-1 needed to accept a new
record, so the above language means that a returning bird that has been
previously accepted will remain accepted unless a majority votes against
it.  In that case the original acceptance will also be overturned.  This
procedure prevents the same bird from having different decisions if it
returns or continues. 

But you bring up a broader issue of what is best practice in determining
how many individual birds generated how many "records."  Sometimes rarities
such a Crested Caracara may stay around for a long time and move around the
state generating new "records" wherever they go.  These are a huge
headache.  Teasing apart how many individual birds have occurred requires
careful assessment of molt, age and potentially unique markings.  In the
case of the Caracaras, a couple of interested members analyzed all the
previous records and made a recommendation as to which ones they thought
were the same.  They presented their findings at a meeting and the
committee voted to endorse their conclusions thus greatly reducing the
number of Caracara records for California.  

But I wonder in a more theoretical context what is the best statistical
treatment of records when there are few or no specific identifying marks.
E.g. suppose there were a minimum of 1 record or a maximum of 6 records of
Great Black-backed Gull in Colorado in one season.  Suppose that only one
bird was ever seen at a time and that birds appeared on different dates and
on various different lakes.  What is best practice?  Should we assume the
minimum number or the maximum or some number in between?  I've talked to a
number of people about this and it appears there is really not much
consensus how to handle such cases.  Current practice seems to be to
consolidate as much as possible to reduce the number of records.  But is
that really the most parsimonious treatment?  I'm looking for a statistical
method that makes the fewest unsupported assumptions to arrive at a
conclusion on how many Great Black-backed Gulls generated all those
sightings.  Assuming they were all the same bird makes as many unsupported
assumptions (that the same bird moved around multiple times) as assuming
they were all different (that each record was a different bird).  

One possible precedent is the way vagrants are counted on the Farallon
Islands.  E.g. in a particular season suppose we have Palm Warbler numbers
on different consecutive days as follows:  2,6,4,5,1,3,1.

Their protocol counts daily increments to arrive at an estimate of the
minimum total of Palm Warblers.  In the above example, there were a minimum
of 9 Palm Warblers over the period and that's what they report.  

So I guess maybe the minimum number is the way to go, but I still think
there must be a better way.



On Thu, 2 May 2013 23:00:54 -0700, "Martin Meyers"  wrote:

>I was wondering how other committees dealt with voting on "continuing" or 
"repeat" appearances of rarities. For the NBRC, once a record has been endorsed 
(as to identification, requiring a vote of 5-1 or 6-0), the question of whether 
or not to consider the record as a continued occurrence of a previous endorsed 
record (or as a repeat occurrence) if the issue seems applicable is based on a 
simple majority vote. Not so simple, unfortunately, with six voting members. 

>
>A case in point: A Glaucous Gull was present at a lake in Reno (actually, two 
obviously different first-cycle Glaucous Gulls were present, overlapping by one 
day, but that's not relevant, or perhaps very marginally relevant, to this 
question.) One of the gulls was very pale (almost pure white), and that's the 
one that's the topic of this post. Ten days after the last report of that 
individual in Reno, a Glaucous Gull was photographed at Pyramid Lake. Pyramid 
Lake is some 30 miles from the Reno pond. It is also the terminus of the 
Truckee River, which runs through Reno. Many of the gulls at the pond in Reno 
frequent the dump which is a few miles downriver of Reno, and gulls are 
observed flying along the river to and from the dump regularly. In addition, 
Pyramid Lake hosts a large number of gulls in winter. 

>
>Photographs of the Reno bird provided excellent detail. Unfortunately, the 
photographs of the Pyramid Lake Glaucous Gull were fairly distant, and while 
ample to guarantee unanimous endorsement of the record, not really sufficient 
to do a careful comparison of plumage and other features with the pale Reno 
bird (although they clearly showed a very pale, almost pure white, first-cycle 
Glaucous Gull.) 

>
>Three committee members voted to consider the pale Reno gull and the Pyramid 
Lake gull to be the same individual (i.e., a continuing bird), with the 
rationale that Glaucous Gulls are rare, and the likelihood of a different 
individual seemed lower than the likelihood that one bird was involved, all 
else being equal. And, of course, three members voted to consider the two 
records to represent separate individuals, based on the rationale that there 
was insufficient evidence in the documentation to convince them the birds were 
the same individual. A second round had the same result. 

>
>I'm not asking for opinions on this particular case. That's pretty much our 
problem. But I am wondering how other committees handle the issue of 
"continuing" (or the very similar "repeat", which we use to mean a bird 
returning for a second winter, or similar situation.) What sort of vote is 
required? And, if any of you have a situation like ours, where a tie is 
possible, how do you resolve it? Is there anything in the bylaws? Moreover, is 
it even possible to have any hard-and-fast rule in such a case. 

>
>Currently, our bylaws state that a tie results in the birds being considered 
different individuals. This is described as the "more conservative" option. But 
some of our members are strongly arguing that, in fact, the more conservative 
position (considering that the birds we are interested in are, by definition, 
"rare" in the state) would be the opposite, i.e., one bird is more likely than 
two. (Again, keep in mind that we're only talking about "tie" cases, where 
there is really nothing else to go on.) 

>
>This would seem to be a type 1 vs type 2 error situation, and most committees, 
including ours, tend to lean strongly toward avoiding type 1 errors at the 
expense of possibly incurring type 2 errors. In this particular case, if we 
consider that there are two birds, we run the risk of a type 1 error, in that 
we now consider that there has been one more rarity than actually occurred. So 
what, really, is the more conservative resolution? Is it possible to have a 
"rule" for such cases. (What if, instead of Glaucous Gulls, this had involved 
Common Redpolls -- another review species, but one which is expected in numbers 
in the rare cases where any show up? Could one rule be best in both cases?) 

>
>Our committee will deal with this at our meeting this September. And advice 
would be most welcome. 

>
>Martin
>===================================
>Martin Meyers
>Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
>website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
>==================================
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt
Subject: Voting on "continuing" and "repeat" records
From: "Martin Meyers" <nbrc AT gbbo.org>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 23:00:54 -0700
I was wondering how other committees dealt with voting on "continuing" or 
"repeat" appearances of rarities. For the NBRC, once a record has been endorsed 
(as to identification, requiring a vote of 5-1 or 6-0), the question of whether 
or not to consider the record as a continued occurrence of a previous endorsed 
record (or as a repeat occurrence) if the issue seems applicable is based on a 
simple majority vote. Not so simple, unfortunately, with six voting members. 


A case in point: A Glaucous Gull was present at a lake in Reno (actually, two 
obviously different first-cycle Glaucous Gulls were present, overlapping by one 
day, but that's not relevant, or perhaps very marginally relevant, to this 
question.) One of the gulls was very pale (almost pure white), and that's the 
one that's the topic of this post. Ten days after the last report of that 
individual in Reno, a Glaucous Gull was photographed at Pyramid Lake. Pyramid 
Lake is some 30 miles from the Reno pond. It is also the terminus of the 
Truckee River, which runs through Reno. Many of the gulls at the pond in Reno 
frequent the dump which is a few miles downriver of Reno, and gulls are 
observed flying along the river to and from the dump regularly. In addition, 
Pyramid Lake hosts a large number of gulls in winter. 


Photographs of the Reno bird provided excellent detail. Unfortunately, the 
photographs of the Pyramid Lake Glaucous Gull were fairly distant, and while 
ample to guarantee unanimous endorsement of the record, not really sufficient 
to do a careful comparison of plumage and other features with the pale Reno 
bird (although they clearly showed a very pale, almost pure white, first-cycle 
Glaucous Gull.) 


Three committee members voted to consider the pale Reno gull and the Pyramid 
Lake gull to be the same individual (i.e., a continuing bird), with the 
rationale that Glaucous Gulls are rare, and the likelihood of a different 
individual seemed lower than the likelihood that one bird was involved, all 
else being equal. And, of course, three members voted to consider the two 
records to represent separate individuals, based on the rationale that there 
was insufficient evidence in the documentation to convince them the birds were 
the same individual. A second round had the same result. 


I'm not asking for opinions on this particular case. That's pretty much our 
problem. But I am wondering how other committees handle the issue of 
"continuing" (or the very similar "repeat", which we use to mean a bird 
returning for a second winter, or similar situation.) What sort of vote is 
required? And, if any of you have a situation like ours, where a tie is 
possible, how do you resolve it? Is there anything in the bylaws? Moreover, is 
it even possible to have any hard-and-fast rule in such a case. 


Currently, our bylaws state that a tie results in the birds being considered 
different individuals. This is described as the "more conservative" option. But 
some of our members are strongly arguing that, in fact, the more conservative 
position (considering that the birds we are interested in are, by definition, 
"rare" in the state) would be the opposite, i.e., one bird is more likely than 
two. (Again, keep in mind that we're only talking about "tie" cases, where 
there is really nothing else to go on.) 


This would seem to be a type 1 vs type 2 error situation, and most committees, 
including ours, tend to lean strongly toward avoiding type 1 errors at the 
expense of possibly incurring type 2 errors. In this particular case, if we 
consider that there are two birds, we run the risk of a type 1 error, in that 
we now consider that there has been one more rarity than actually occurred. So 
what, really, is the more conservative resolution? Is it possible to have a 
"rule" for such cases. (What if, instead of Glaucous Gulls, this had involved 
Common Redpolls -- another review species, but one which is expected in numbers 
in the rare cases where any show up? Could one rule be best in both cases?) 


Our committee will deal with this at our meeting this September. And advice 
would be most welcome. 


Martin
===================================
Martin Meyers
Secretary, Nevada Bird Records Committee
website: http://gbbo.org/nbrc
==================================
Subject: RE: Seeking info on N.American penguin sightings
From: "Geoff Malosh" <pomarine AT earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:30:21 -0400
Penguins have been a regular winter resident in Pittsburgh since 1967. When
present they tend to congregate near a skating rink in the downtown area,
especially in the evenings.

;-)

Geoff Malosh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Editor, Pennsylvania Birds



-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Bartels [mailto:mattxyz AT earthlink.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:52 PM
To: brcf-l AT indiana.edu
Subject: [BRCF] Seeking info on N.American penguin sightings

Greetings -
Our Washington Bird Records Committee is reviewing a recent [2011] report of
a Humboldt's Penguin, photographed just off the coast. Obviously, the big
question will be one of origin....


As part of our process, we are attempting to collect information on any
other penguin sightings in North America -- I think we've heard from most of
the west [where there are reports from El Salvador, California, WA, BC and
Alaska], but we haven't learned of any reports in non-Pacific Ocean waters.
Anyone out there on the east coast [gulf?] have any sightings that have [or
have not] been reviewed? 

I'd be grateful for even negative 'check in' emails from coastal state BRCs,
to help us flesh out the record.

Thanks for any info,

Matt Bartels
Secretary, Washington Bird Records Committee
Subject: Seeking info on N.American penguin sightings
From: Matt Bartels <mattxyz AT earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 20:51:51 -0700
Greetings -
Our Washington Bird Records Committee is reviewing a recent [2011] report of a 
Humboldt's Penguin, photographed just off the coast. Obviously, the big 
question will be one of origin.... 



As part of our process, we are attempting to collect information on any other 
penguin sightings in North America -- I think we've heard from most of the west 
[where there are reports from El Salvador, California, WA, BC and Alaska], but 
we haven't learned of any reports in non-Pacific Ocean waters. Anyone out there 
on the east coast [gulf?] have any sightings that have [or have not] been 
reviewed? 


I'd be grateful for even negative 'check in' emails from coastal state BRCs, to 
help us flesh out the record. 


Thanks for any info,

Matt Bartels
Secretary, Washington Bird Records Committee
Subject: Re: Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:58:04 -0500
Geoff et al.:

I think you have said much of what I was trying to say in what I posted
earlier, only perhaps better.  I like that after the voting didn't reach a
clear resolution, you just talked it out and agreed to leave it as
Mew/Common with a detailed explanation in your annual report.  This is
definitely the way we would operate.  For one thing, this is a record that
certainly needs to be publicized, not buried, so you need to report it
as*something
*.  We also agree that we can't anticipate all the possible combinations.

Bill Rowe


On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 8:40 PM, Geoff Malosh wrote:

> In Pennsylvania, this scenario is not specifically addressed in the
> committees by-laws, but the situation has come up in practice a few times
> and we handled it exactly as Steve Mlodinow describes below (i.e., accept
> the record as the pair, with comments in the annual report).****
>
> ** **
>
> By way of example: recently there was a Common-or-Mew Gull under review.
> The record was submitted as a Common Gull. The committee voted 3 in favor
> of Common Gull, and 4 not in favor of Common, however all four who voted to
> reject Common Gull all made note that the bird was acceptable as Mew or
> Common Gull. It did not go through a second round of voting to formally
> accept as Mew or Common; instead the practice (again, with no explicit
> by-law) was simply to roll the three votes for Common into the Mew/Common
> category, and the final vote was recorded as 7/0 for Mew/Common. In the
> committees annual report, the summary of this record included a discussion
> of the original submission and original vote of 3/4 on Common.****
>
> ** **
>
> (I suppose, tracking back to Joes original question, the Pennsylvania
> committee treated a true vote for species A as still true when
> applied to the question of species A or B.)****
>
> ** **
>
> Though not ideal, I do consider this a better solution than to reject the
> record in the event that the three who voted for Common felt strongly
> enough not to back down from that position to Mew/Common. In that event,
> the vote for Common would meet rejection as it did (3/4), and a second vote
> on Mew/Common would meet rejection as well (4/3), and the whole record
> would be rejected. To me this is not as useful as publishing it as an
> accepted Mew/Common. Importantly, the reasoning of the committee was
> explained in its annual report so as to not lose sight of the original
> submission as Common nor of the votes in favor of Common.****
>
> ** **
>
> I also agree with others who have suggested that this is a relatively rare
> circumstance (California may be an exception), and that a committee may
> best make a judgment call on a case by case basis as opposed to following
> an inflexible by-law. At any rate, it would be hard to codify all possible
> pair/group/genus/hybrid evaluation scenarios into a set of by-laws. At some
> point there is utility to simply taking it offline (away from the balloting
> process) and just discuss the record as a group and decide on it as a
> one-off case.****
>
> ** **
>
> Incidentally, photos of the gull described above, and the description I
> submitted to the committee, can be found here:
> http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine4/id6.html. If anyone wants to have a
> little gull identification sidebar, Id be interested in hearing opinions
> on this bird. I never did hear much of anything when I asked the
> ID-Frontiers list about this record back in 2011.****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> Best regards,****
>
> Geoff Malosh****
>
> PORC member, 2006-12****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> Geoff Malosh | Editor, *Pennsylvania Birds *****
>
> 450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128  ****
>
> pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html **
> **
>
> ===========================================================================
> ****
>
> *Pennsylvania Birds* is published by the Pennsylvania Society for
> Ornithology ****
>
>   Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html
> ****
>
>   Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm ****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> *From:* Steven Mlodinow [mailto:sgmlod AT aol.com]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:38 AM
> *To:* jmorlan AT gmail.com; mattxyz AT earthlink.net
> *Cc:* BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
> *Subject:* Re: [BRCF] Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist****
>
> ** **
>
> Greetings Joe, Matt, and all ****
>
> ** **
>
> So, we have Taiga Bean Goose (if my memory serves) on the state list, but
> another Bean Goose was not adequately documented to ID to species, so is
> simply Taiga/Tundra Bean Goose.****
>
> ** **
>
> Let's say, though, that there was a photographed bird. 5 say Tundra, 2 say
> abstain or Taiga. Should that bird simply appear as "Not Accepted" and
> disappear (for practical purposes) from view, or should the more general
> Taiga/Tundra Bean Goose be how the sighting is listed.****
>
> ** **
>
> Though not entirely satisfactory, for reasons you stated, I'd rather have
> Taiga/Tundra Swan be the published decision with a discussion of the BRCs
> voting rather than the sighting slide into the "Not Accepted" category,
> where it will languish unnoticed, even with the same commentary attached.*
> ***
>
> ** **
>
> Respectfully Yours****
>
> Steve Mlodinow****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph Morlan 
> To: Matt Bartels 
> Cc: BRCF-L 
> Sent: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 10:31 pm
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [BRCF] Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist****
>
> Matt,****
>
> ** **
>
> I'm still interested in the exact meaning of these species pairs or 
groups.**** 

>
> E.g. is acceptance as Bean Goose just a catch-all for any record of a 
Bean**** 

>
> Goose type which does not have enough votes as either Tundra or Taiga?  I****
>
> can see this being used in a case where the bird was too poorly seen to****
>
> identify for certain.****
>
> ** **
>
> But consider a case where a majority of voting members think a particular****
>
> well documented record is acceptable as a Tundra Bean-Goose, but the 
record**** 

>
> does not have quite enough votes to be accepted as Tundra: then do the****
>
> pro-Tundra votes automatically roll over into Taiga/Tundra? I'm not clear**** 

>
> why the pro-Tundra members should have their votes rolled into 
Taiga/Tundra**** 

>
> when they believe Taiga has been eliminated.****
>
> ** **
>
> Taiga/Tundra is the set of all Bean Geese.  If Taiga is false, then****
>
> Taiga/Tundra is also false because the Taiga portion of the set nullifies****
>
> the validity of the whole set. At least that's the way I see it. However**** 

>
> I get the impression that my view is not the understanding of the way****
>
> species pairs are being used in practice.****
>
> ** **
>
> Are the following pairs and groups on the Washington state checklist, or****
>
> are they just on the review list?  ****
>
> ** **
>
> Suppose you have a situation where you have multiple accepted records of****
>
> Taiga/Tundra Bean-Goose and finally you get a specimen which is 
identified**** 

>
> by measurements and DNA as one species or the other.  Then does that one****
>
> species go on the state checklist and the species pair gets removed?  I'm****
>
> guessing it does. But does the species pair stay on the review list after**** 

>
> you have a good record of one or the other species, or does it then get****
>
> removed also?****
>
> ** **
>
> On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 16:44:37 -0700, Matt Bartels ****
>
> wrote:****
>
> ** **
>
> >For the record, accepted 'pairs' on our list include:****
>
> >** **
>
> >Bean Goose [Tundra/Taiga not determined]****
>
> >** **
>
> >Frigatebird sp. - we might need to reexamine that one in light of Joe's 
comment **** 

>
> about its fuzziness....****
>
> >** **
>
> >White-faced/Glossy Ibis ****
>
> >** **
>
> >Scripps's/Guadalupe Murrelet****
>
> >** **
>
> >Scripps's/Craveri's Murrelet****
>
> >** **
>
> >Scripps's/Guadalupe/Craveri's Murrelet****
>
> >** **
>
> >Xantus's/Craveri's Murrelet -- same as the above one, but these are still 
**** 

>
> awaiting re-review to see if they can be assigned to the above.****
>
> >** **
>
> >Tropical/Couch's Kingbird [now nominally 'off' the list since Tropical 
Kingbird **** 

>
> has recently been removed - I can imagine that a record submitted as a 
possible **** 

>
> Couch's could still end up in this category. The same presumably applies to 
the **** 

>
> Ibis, above]****
>
> -- ****
>
> Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA    jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu ****
>
> Birding Classes start Apr 2    http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/****
>
>
Subject: Species pairs continued
From: William Rowe <rowemb45 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:49:46 -0500
Joe, Alan, Steve, Matt, et al.:

I'm starting a new email -- that thread was getting too long.  I think
maybe there are two or three different matters under discussion, and I'm
not sure we were distinguishing them in our responses.  See if you agree.

1) One matter is whether (or which) species pairs appear on our state
checklists, as having ever occurred.  I responded that Missouri has only
one: Red-necked/Little Stint, based on a record that had different experts
supporting each of those identifications, but with no doubt that the bird
was one of the two.  As Joe surmised, if we were to get a good record of *
either* species, then Red-necked/Little would disappear from the checklist.
 The exact analogy is an accipiter on a CBC: if you have listed a bird as
Sharp-shin/Cooper's on your area, and it's the only accipiter on the CBC,
then it counts as a species, being different from all other birds seen; but
if anyone else lists a Sharp-shin OR a Cooper's, yours is no longer an
additional species for the CBC, as it might not be different.  Same
reasoning for the state checklist (although not spelled out in our by-laws,
I must admit).

2) A *different* matter is how you review and categorize all records of
species belonging to confusable pairs or groups, irrespective of their
status on your state checklist -- how you enter these on your review list,
what categories you permit, how you sequence the votes (per Alan's
description), etc.  It may be that none, one, or both of the species are on
your state checklist, but you still want to allow evaluation and acceptance
of records as flexibly as possible.  Example: We have both Rufous and
Allen's Hummingbirds on our state list, and we don't even review Rufous
records in fall now because there are so many.  In winter, however, any
hummingbird is still casual or accidental, so we would review such a
record, and at that point, assuming we have good enough photographs but no
measurements, we might conceivably narrow it down to this pair, accept as
Rufous/Allen's, and so list it in our annual report.  I.e., we need that
category in that instance.  We don't state anywhere that this is a
"permissible" category for voting and acceptance -- we would just talk it
out and agree that we can only pin it down that far.  I guess I can see how
the need might arise for a voting sequence such as Alan describes, but that
hasn't occurred for us in practice.

3) A third matter, it seems to me, is the use of categories broader than
two, like Joe's example of Fregata.  I think you just need to be careful
and make the category reflect exactly what you mean.  In theory, under just
the right circumstances, we might determine that winter hummingbird to be
no more definite than Rufous/Allen's/Broad-tailed -- or even Selasphorus
sp. if we can't eliminate Calliope either -- and that is how it would be
entered in the annual report, irrespective of those species' status on our
checklist.  We should be able to specify the category as needed in
practice, to describe the case in front of us, and I don't see how we could
specify all the possibilities in advance.

This is indeed an interesting discussion, but I remain unsure what
motivated it.  Does anyone question that species pairs (or larger groups)
have a use?  Does anyone have a clearer way of dealing with them?

Bill Rowe
Subject: RE: Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist
From: "Geoff Malosh" <pomarine AT earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 21:40:59 -0400
In Pennsylvania, this scenario is not specifically addressed in the
committee's by-laws, but the situation has come up in practice a few times
and we handled it exactly as Steve Mlodinow describes below (i.e., "accept"
the record as the pair, with comments in the annual report).

 

By way of example: recently there was a Common-or-Mew Gull under review. The
record was submitted as a Common Gull. The committee voted 3 in favor of
Common Gull, and 4 not in favor of Common, however all four who voted to
reject Common Gull all made note that the bird was acceptable as Mew or
Common Gull. It did not go through a second round of voting to formally
accept as Mew or Common; instead the practice (again, with no explicit
by-law) was simply to roll the three votes for Common into the Mew/Common
category, and the final vote was recorded as 7/0 for Mew/Common. In the
committee's annual report, the summary of this record included a discussion
of the original submission and original vote of 3/4 on Common.

 

(I suppose, tracking back to Joe's original question, the Pennsylvania
committee treated a "true" vote for species "A" as still "true" when applied
to the question of species "A or B".)

 

Though not ideal, I do consider this a better solution than to reject the
record in the event that the three who voted for Common felt strongly enough
not to back down from that position to Mew/Common. In that event, the vote
for Common would meet rejection as it did (3/4), and a second vote on
Mew/Common would meet rejection as well (4/3), and the whole record would be
rejected. To me this is not as useful as publishing it as an accepted
Mew/Common. Importantly, the reasoning of the committee was explained in its
annual report so as to not lose sight of the original submission as Common
nor of the votes in favor of Common.

 

I also agree with others who have suggested that this is a relatively rare
circumstance (California may be an exception), and that a committee may best
make a "judgment call" on a case by case basis as opposed to following an
inflexible by-law. At any rate, it would be hard to codify all possible
pair/group/genus/hybrid evaluation scenarios into a set of by-laws. At some
point there is utility to simply taking it offline (away from the balloting
process) and just discuss the record as a group and decide on it as a
one-off case.

 

Incidentally, photos of the gull described above, and the description I
submitted to the committee, can be found here:
http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine4/id6.html. If anyone wants to have a
little gull identification sidebar, I'd be interested in hearing opinions on
this bird. I never did hear much of anything when I asked the ID-Frontiers
list about this record back in 2011.

 

 

Best regards,

Geoff Malosh

PORC member, 2006-12

 

 

Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds 

450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128  

pomarine AT earthlink.net | http://home.earthlink.net/~pomarine/index.html 

=========================================================================== 

Pennsylvania Birds is published by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology 

  Preview the latest issue: http://www.pabirds.org/pabirds/pb_sample.html 

  Subscription information: http://www.pabirds.org/PSOJoin.htm 

 

 

 

 

From: Steven Mlodinow [mailto:sgmlod AT aol.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:38 AM
To: jmorlan AT gmail.com; mattxyz AT earthlink.net
Cc: BRCF-L AT indiana.edu
Subject: Re: [BRCF] Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist

 

Greetings Joe, Matt, and all 

 

So, we have Taiga Bean Goose (if my memory serves) on the state list, but
another Bean Goose was not adequately documented to ID to species, so is
simply Taiga/Tundra Bean Goose.

 

Let's say, though, that there was a photographed bird. 5 say Tundra, 2 say
abstain or Taiga. Should that bird simply appear as "Not Accepted" and
disappear (for practical purposes) from view, or should the more general
Taiga/Tundra Bean Goose be how the sighting is listed.

 

Though not entirely satisfactory, for reasons you stated, I'd rather have
Taiga/Tundra Swan be the published decision with a discussion of the BRCs
voting rather than the sighting slide into the "Not Accepted" category,
where it will languish unnoticed, even with the same commentary attached.

 

Respectfully Yours

Steve Mlodinow

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph Morlan 
To: Matt Bartels 
Cc: BRCF-L 
Sent: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 10:31 pm
Subject: Re: Fwd: [BRCF] Question 1 -- Species Pairs on checklist

Matt,
 
I'm still interested in the exact meaning of these species pairs or groups.
E.g. is acceptance as Bean Goose just a catch-all for any record of a Bean
Goose type which does not have enough votes as either Tundra or Taiga?  I
can see this being used in a case where the bird was too poorly seen to
identify for certain.
 
But consider a case where a majority of voting members think a particular
well documented record is acceptable as a Tundra Bean-Goose, but the record
does not have quite enough votes to be accepted as Tundra: then do the
pro-Tundra votes automatically roll over into Taiga/Tundra?  I'm not clear
why the pro-Tundra members should have their votes rolled into Taiga/Tundra
when they believe Taiga has been eliminated.
 
Taiga/Tundra is the set of all Bean Geese.  If Taiga is false, then
Taiga/Tundra is also false because the Taiga portion of the set nullifies
the validity of the whole set.  At least that's the way I see it.  However
I get the impression that my view is not the understanding of the way
species pairs are being used in practice.
 
Are the following pairs and groups on the Washington state checklist, or
are they just on the review list?  
 
Suppose you have a situation where you have multiple accepted records of
Taiga/Tundra Bean-Goose and finally you get a specimen which is identified
by measurements and DNA as one species or the other.  Then does that one
species go on the state checklist and the species pair gets removed?  I'm
guessing it does.  But does the species pair stay on the review list after
you have a good record of one or the other species, or does it then get
removed also?
 
On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 16:44:37 -0700, Matt Bartels 
wrote:
 
>For the record, accepted 'pairs' on our list include:
> 
>Bean Goose [Tundra/Taiga not determined]
> 
>Frigatebird sp. - we might need to reexamine that one in light of Joe's
comment 
about its fuzziness....
> 
>White-faced/Glossy Ibis 
> 
>Scripps's/Guadalupe Murrelet
> 
>Scripps's/Craveri's Murrelet
> 
>Scripps's/Guadalupe/Craveri's Murrelet
> 
>Xantus's/Craveri's Murrelet -- same as the above one, but these are still 
awaiting re-review to see if they can be assigned to the above.
> 
>Tropical/Couch's Kingbird [now nominally 'off' the list since Tropical
Kingbird 
has recently been removed - I can imagine that a record submitted as a
possible 
Couch's could still end up in this category. The same presumably applies to
the 
Ibis, above]
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA    jmorlan (at) ccsf.edu 
Birding Classes start Apr 2    http://fog.ccsf.edu/jmorlan/