eBird Changes How Rock Pigeon Is Reported
- Hi Birders,
eBird just announced a new procedure for reporting Rock Pigeon worldwide.
If you go to <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/rock-pigeon/> you can read how this change will affect Rock Pigeon reporting worldwide.
Bottom line for the western hemisphere: All Rock Pigeon in the western hemisphere will be reported as Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), and all eBird records (i.e., all of our personal eBird records) for Rock Pigeon will be changed automatically from Rock Pigeon to Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) within the next several weeks. The only exception to this reporting procedure would occur if you report Rock Pigeons seen at a known location of a pigeon fancier, who's birds fly free during daylight but return to the fancier's pigeon roost every night. Pigeons flying free from a fancier's roost should not be reported as they are considered "Not Valid-Introduced/Exotic," the same as the free-flying Northern Bobwhite, Chukars, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Wild Turkey often reported from locations in South-Central Alaska. At the moment, the only known location where a fancier has pigeons flying loose is Nome, but there may be other locations that we don't know about.
For those areas of the world where there are still populations of wild Rock Pigeon, those wild pigeons will now be reported as Rock Pigeon (Wild Type). The article at the link that I've provided gives complete details on where on Earth Rock Pigeon (Wild Type) can still be found.
None of the above changes will affect those of you who maintain an Alaska list. The Alaska Checklist Committee does not list Rock Pigeon in its "CHECKLIST OF ALASKA BIRDS" (which you can find at <http://www.universityofalaskamuseumbirds.org/>) because it's the Committee's position that there are no known Alaska flocks of Rock Pigeon that can qualify as "wild," since they all are associated with human populations centers which support their continued existence. Consequently, for the time-being, the Committee classifies all free-flying Rock Pigeon populations in Alaska as "Introduced," and not countable on Alaska lists.
So, for those of you using eBird, all of your future reports must be "Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon). For Alaska 200 Club members, Rock Pigeon still does not count.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Alaska eBird Coordinator