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Not quite so fast,

I have discussed the issue of countability of birds that do not appear on
official state lists with Father Tom of the ABA Checklist committee.  We
concluded that ABA rules do allow for the counting of birds that are not on
the "official" state list provided they are on the ABA Checklist.  This is
not specifically stated in the rules, but is the result of not being
disallowed.  The ABA rules are a bit of a mystery even to the ABA.  For
example, Elegant tern in Florida.  If you saw the bird at Honeymoon Island
in 1999, you could count it on your Florida list right away.  Elegant tern
is on the ABA list, so you don't have to wait for the local committee to
accept it.  Some folks wait for the local committee before counting the
birds on their local lists.  One reason for this is that the thresholds for
listing are based on the official lists (e.g. records committee lists where
there is a records committee.)  Reporting birds on your list that do not
appear on the local list undermines the credibility of that system.  I do
not personally subscribe to that philosophy (I have two birds on my Florida
list that are not on the official list.)  When it comes to established
exotics, it gets really confusing.  Can you say Muscovy duck?  I don't have
time to get into that right now.

As to Bicknell's thrush, according to Stevenson and Anderson, "both races
[bicknelli and minimus of Gray-cheeked thrush at the time] have been
collected in Florida."  "There are five specimens from Panama City and WCTV
[television tower] 18 Oct and 1 May (FSU, FLMNH)".  At an FOS meeting a few
years back, I remember a skin quiz in which one of these Bicknell's thrushes
showed up.  I must admit that I called it a Veery, duh.  After the papers
were turned in, a couple of us slipped the covers off the tags, and there it
was, Catharus minimus bicknelli.  Interestingly, the birds was IDed as a
Gray-cheeked thrush according to the key.  This is one of the reasons that I
don't subscribe to the official Florida list.  Can't you guys read?
Additionally, according to one study
http://birds.cornell.edu/pifcapemay/evans_rosenberg.htm, Bicknell's thrushes
have been recorded flying over Florida.  I don't have time now to read the
whole study right now, so I am relying on others' information on this point.
Given this evidence, it is a mystery to me why the species does not
currently appear on the checklist.  I have seen a Bicknell's thrush, based
on morphological traits, in the keys last May.  Given that the bird did not
call and I was not able to measure it, I did not count it.  When or if I
hear one flying over this fall (after I get my CD of nocturnal flight calls)
I will add it to my Florida list.

David Simpson
Fellsmere, FL
[log in to unmask]

----- Original Message -----
From: Noel Wamer <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 6:10 AM
Subject: Re: [FLBIRDS] More about Bicknell's Thrush Recordings


> Doug wrote (in part):
>
>  >distinguish the various species.  ABA rules would allow you to count a
>  >Bicknell's Thrush if you heard it and could identify it.
>
> Not so fast there. :-)  Bicknell's Thrush was not on the official state
> list as promulgated by the FOS Records Committee in July 2001.  See:
> http://www.fosbirds.org/RecordCommittee/StateListJuly2001.htm
>
> If there has been an update of this of which I am not aware, I would be
> interested in hearing about it.
>
> During both of the past two Falls I have observed single birds in my yard
> that were almost certainly Bicknell's based on both call notes and
> morphology (small size, short primary projection, russet tail contrasting
> with back, maxilla mostly yellowish with on a small dark
> tip).  Unfortunately, I was not able to obtain adequate documentary
> evidence, if that is even possible without a specimen.
> Later...
>
> Noel Wamer
> Jacksonville, FL, US
> Mosaics by Noel & Terry - http://home.attbi.com/~terrywest/
>
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