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11013RE: News from the California Bird Records Committee

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  • podoces
    Sep 5, 2013
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       <It my opinion, we birders (at least those among us who leave a record of what we encounter) have an  <obligation to count, document and publicize _every_ species in our area of interest. Every correctly identified  <species that is alive or dead, free-flying or caged.

      So we should go to the zoo and count all those birds? What about pet stores? Do chickens at chicken farms count? Maybe WFO should organize field trips to the MVZ and Cal Academy and the San Diego, LA and San Bernardino County museums, so that we can all tick off the dead birds in the collections.

      Counting anything but wild birds, be they native or established exotics, is a bit over the top, I think most will agree.

      Matt Brady

      Baton Rouge, LA

      --- In calbirds@yahoogroups.com, <fabflockfinder@...> wrote:

      Yes. It is a discussion which fascinates me. But at the risk of sounding xenophobic, I'll pipe up with a viewpoint that doesn't get a lot of air time. It my opinion, we birders (at least those among us who leave a record of what we encounter) have an obligation to count, document and publicize _every_ species in our area of interest. Every correctly identified species that is alive or dead, free-flying or caged. Radical? yes! After all, the total number of species of birds in the universe is finite. Obligation is a strong sentiment but I believe it is justified by the need to monitor ecosystems for invaders. I understand that Florida has a potential problem on its hands with the introduction and establishment of the Burmese python. Only time with tell, how this will play out. Perhaps there has been or will be some addition to our avifauna that stands to irrevocably alter our ecosystems here. I argue that it is important to pay attention. Of course we have learned that it is more critical to pay attention on islands. But I feel we ought to be in the habit of doing the same on the continents as well. Because ecosystems are a lot like islands.

      This tenant of conservation biology has been known in limited circles for decades but there is no reason why it ought not become a mainstream household concept. And it goes hand-in-hand with circumscribing behaviors in the pet trade, zoological gardens and tourist traps. Just look what happened when we didn't pay attention to the brown tree snake on Guam. How many species have become extinct through this disastrous introduction? As somebody said: the biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small. I just wish that the state record committees and the ABA incentivized counting the one off escapes/releases. Now that we have eBird.org we have the mechanism to publicize. 

      Flock on!

      Arcata CA/San Diego CA
      Walkie talkie primero=707-633-8833
      Last ditch alternate=559-433-7254

      On Sep 5, 2013, at 12:11, Steve Hampton <stevechampton@...> wrote:

      Good discussion about when to accept non-natives as established.  

      The removal of Ringed Turtle Dove from the ABA list, the crash of Crested Mynas, and the recent crash of Spotted Doves also causes one to pause, as these examples suggest that the population dynamics of some species, depending on their ecological context, follow much longer patterns of expansion and collapse than we might expect.  Thus, what appears to be "established" might just be circling the drain.  

      On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM, Douglas Aguillard <dwaguillard@...> wrote:
      I also have wondered the same. The Lilac-crowned population in San Diego seems to be a 2-1 larger than the Red-crowned. The Magpie Jays in the Tijuana River valley have been around for over 10 years, and the population does grow and move around the south County, but will probably never make the list.
      But with all things, the CBRC and ABA only have the power, when your willing to let them have it. So you can make up your own State list if you wish to.
      Doug Aguillard
      San Diego, CA
      On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM, Ali Sheehey <natureali@...> wrote:


      I continue to wonder about the bias against accepting non-migratory established exotics. When a well documented vagrant with a single occurrence is countable but psittacid populations that continue to experience exponential growth are not considered because of limited geographic distribution owing to their non migratory habits, I scratch my head.

      As the documenter of Bakersfield's Rose-ringed Parakeet population, it becomes apparent that even though this population has satisfied every criteria for inclusion, it remains off the California list.

      Other populations within the state of this species may not be stable owing to competition from other more robust psittacid species but the Bakersfield population does not have the same pressure.

      I wouldn't be comfortable including rose-rings on my list beyond Bakersfield but I would add Nanday Parakeet from Malibu or Lilac-crowned Parrot from Temple City. The establishment of these birds is highly localized but stable by all accounts.

      IMHO, if one is going to have any exotics on the list, then all that meet the criteria as established should be considered without bias.

      Respectfully yours in nature,


      Alison Sheehey
      PO Box 153
      Weldon, CA 93283


      Doug Aguillard
      San Diego, CA

      Steve Hampton
      Davis, CA

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