BRC General Information

bcfo-logoBRITISH COLUMBIA FIELD ORNITHOLOGISTS

BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

Nathan Hentze (Chair) (Saanich)

Peter Candido (Vancouver) Michael Force (Lake Country)
Guy Monty (Vancouver Island) Jeremy Gatten (Saanich)
Chris Charlesworth (Kelowna) Mike Toochin (Richmond)

General Operating Principles

The BRC welcomes Rare Bird Reports from all observers. Membership in BCFO is not a requirement for submissions to the committee. The Bird Records Committee is operated as a service to all British Columbia birders, ornithologists, and members of the public.

Full terms of reference are being developed by the committee as it works to clear the large backlog of reviews.

The Bird Records Committee will:

  • Use a consensus model for making decisions.
  • Be fully transparent and promptly make decisions public.
  • Judge submissions as ‘accepted’ or ‘not accepted’.
  • Publish reasons for decisions which may be a summary of comments by committee members, without attribution.
  • Give reasons for decisions that are sufficiently clear to enable re-submission of “not accepted” records, if deficiencies are addressed.
  • Give priority to records that, if accepted, would be new to the Provincial List.
  • Review the earliest records of potential Provincial firsts where possible. However, greater priority will be given to submissions with adequate and easily obtained documentation.

The Committee has adopted the following guidelines:

  • Provincial firsts require physical proof (e.g., photos, videos, specimen). Excellent field-notes will suffice for subsequent records if physical proof is lacking.
  • Provincial firsts by single-observers are acceptable where verifiable, physical proof was obtained.
  • Where “accepted” records meet the above criteria, the species will be added to the Provincial List.
  • Species that have received no objections to identification or provenance, but which do not otherwise meet the criteria for acceptance to the Provincial List, will be placed on the provisional list. Species on the provisional list may be re-evaluated should the species be added subsequently to the Provincial list, or when additional information is acquired.
  • Outside expertise may be sought at the committee’s discretion. Such expertise is to inform the committee’s work, but holds no voting power in its own right.

PUBLICATIONS

An annual report of the committee will be published in British Columbia Birds

A summary of decisions for each round of reviews highlighting the most recently “accepted” records will be published promptly on the BCFO website and/or in BC Birding.

REVIEW LIST

The BC Provincial Review List can be found here, or by navigating via the BRC Public tab above.

SUBMISSIONS

Observers are encouraged to submit records of any potentially new species for the Province and of those found on the review list to Nathan Hentze, chair of the Bird Records Committee using the BCFO Rare Bird Report form below.

RARE BIRD REPORT FORM

To use this form you must first download it and save it to your computer. The form may then be reopened, and the form filling features will be useable.

BCFO Rare Bird Report Form (fillable pdf)

You may of course simply print the form after downloading, complete it by hand, and mail it in.

Electronic submissions are preferred, and should be sent to:

Nathan Hentze, BRC Chair, by email to:   nathan DOT hentze AT gmail DOT com

Mailed documentation should be sent to:

Nathan Hentze
British Columbia Field Ornithologists

P.O. Box 45111 Dunbar
Vancouver, B.C.
V6S 2M8

2 responses to “BRC General Information

  1. Derrick Marven

    In birding there is one thing that i find very unethical and disconcerting and that is when a sitting member of a county or provincial records committee adds rare and uncommon species to their county,year and life lists before the species has been accepted by the records committee for which that person represents.

  2. Derrick,

    Your comment and concern are noted. We will discuss the issue during our next BRC meeting.

    The committee’s purpose is to evaluate records of rare species for purposes of the BC Provincial List. Determining what individuals count on their personal lists is not part of the BRC’s mandate. Our work is done by consensus through detailed discussion and assessment of the evidence provided to the committee. Inevitably, some of the birds under consideration will have been seen by committee members, which is helpful when making a final determination. When committee members are the finders of a rarity, the practice is to abstain from the final decision.

    p.p. Nathan Hentze, BRC Chair

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