Hi, Florida Birders,

Wes Biggs has now sent me his list of RARE BIRDS - FLORIDA.

In view of space limitations I am sending this prefatory message
separately so that space may be conserved in the mailing of
the actual list.

In creating this list, Wes has been aware that birders in different areas
see the same bird in different degrees of rarity, based on the number of
occurrences of its presence in each area.  It wouldn't be on this
list if it had not been seen already in Florida. Perhaps it has been
seen more in one area than another. That has to be weighed in deciding
whether it should be included.

For example, the Vermilion Flycatcher has been seen at St. Marks NWR
every winter for a while,and lately in the Gainesville area.  For those areas,
it does not seem all that rare, but in other areas it can be regarded
as very rare.  He says this bird is marginal on his list.

So Wes has had to do a balancing act.  His explanation of why he
has left off Black Noddy is particularly interesting:

 >I left Black Noddy off the list, not because
 >it's not rare, but because there is no need to make an alert for it.
 >Although the bird is restricted to 2 little islands in all of North
 >America, & often only a lone individual, it wouldn't make much
 >sense to alert people to a bird that anybody could have seen
 >almost every summer for the last 40 years!!

Wes says this list is not written in stone, and we should scrutinize it
carefully for possible changes.  It includes rarely seen birds for the
whole state, and if you consider how many miles of shoreline Florida has
(and not forgetting the inland birding spots). preparing such a list is
a job of some magnitude.

Of the 480 species of Florida birds, 147 of them have been designated
as rare enough to need special reporting.  Pragmatically, while many others
are birds so special that people have to come to Florida to see them,
i.e., the sole endemic bird of Florida, the Florida Scrub Jay,
it is of no value to designate the whole list of 480 species as rare.
I don't know the comparisons from other states, but I would think that
this ratio would be one of the highest to be found when 147 out of 480
are being designated as rare.

In reporting your sightings of these rare birds to FLORIDABIRDS-L, PLEASE

Please do it just that way so that we get accustomed to it.
We will then know immediately about the presence of the bird.
Details of the location and the sighting should be put in the body.

Please also report the bird to your RBA compiler.

One bird you should note on the list is the newly renamed
Western Spindalis !  Right on, Wes!  Certainly, on this list
you should know this bird has just been renamed; formerly
it was (Western) Stripe-headed Tanager.

If there are any changes, deletions or additions, you would like
to make, please post them to the list with your reasons for
making any such changes.

When the list is finalized, I hope you will print out a hard copy
and take it with you when you are in the field.  Some of us will
automatically know when a bird is rare, but some may not.

There are many birds on this list I haven't seen and would like
to.  I ask all of you to keep a sharp lookout!

Thanks, Wes, good job!


Barbara Passmore
Valdosta GA
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