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11266News from the California Bird Records Committee

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  • Kimball Garrett
    Jan 21, 2014

      The Western Field Ornithologists' California Bird Records Committee held its annual meeting on 17-18 January 2014 in Los Gatos. Below is a brief summary of actions, compiled by Committee Chair Joseph Morlan, relating to committee membership, the state list, and the review list.

      The CBRC web site http://www.californiabirds.org has been updated by webmaster Joseph Morlan to reflect these actions.

      Brian Daniels, John Garrett and Jim Tietz were elected to three-year terms on the Committee. We welcome back Jim who has served previously and has continued to help with the on-line CBRC database. Brian and John will be serving their first terms on the Committee. Rotating off the committee are Kristie Nelson, Jim Pike and Scott Terrill. Joseph Morlan will continue as Chair, Dan Singer as vice-chair and Guy McCaskie as CBRC Secretary.

      Among various by-law revisions was approval of a provision to change the northern offshore boundary with Oregon to the area where the nearest point of land is within 200 nautical miles of the California coast. The area south of 42°N latitude had been used in the past. This change will eliminate a small wedge of offshore waters that were previously considered part of our California waters, but apparently only a single accepted record (of a "Dark-rumped" Petrel) has occurred in that area.

      The committee voted to create a new category (RI) for the California Condor to indicate reintroduction in progress. This species was formerly listed as extirpated (E). Also Nazca Booby was removed from the Supplemental List of species which are of uncertain natural occurrence (the rationale being that the Supplemental List is for species whose provenance is uncertain, whereas we know exactly
      what happened with the ship-assisted Nazca Booby).

      One species group ("frigatebird sp.") was added to the review list based on a vote at the 2013 meeting, while three species and one species pair were removed.

      Removed were:
      Hawaiian Petrel and Galapagos/Hawaiian Petrel (now regular offshore)
      Neotropic Cormorant (increasing rapidly in the Imperial Valley, breeding).
      Pine Warbler (regular winter visitor in coastal Southern California).

      Records of these species beginning 1 January 2014 will not be reviewed by the Committee. However, we continue to urge those who observe these species (and all other rarities) in California to thoroughly document sightings and provide details to the appropriate North American Birds regional or sub-regional editors as well as through eBird.

      Among many additional topics discussed was the desire for photo submissions to be in the form of separate JPEG's with the original metadata (exif) generated by digital cameras rather than (or in addition to) embedded in word processing documents. We continue to urge observers to provide written context with all photo submissions, including circumstances of the sighting, description of behaviors and vocalizations, and anything else not evident in photographs. A revised submission form was approved and is available on our web site.

      Lastly the committee is seeking a volunteer who is familiar with programming in MS Access to help us with our database. We need help creating queries and macros, and updating tables. Please contact Joe
      Morlan (jmorlan@...) if you think you can help.

      We are grateful to H. T. Harvey and Associates for hosting the meeting and generously supplying the sandwiches and pizza that got us through many long discussions; many thanks to CBRC members Steve Rottenborn and Scott Terrill for arranging this. The CBRC thanks its outgoing members for their service, and all of the observers who have submitted documentation of records to the CBRC over the past year.

      This news posted by the CBRC "press secretary":
      Kimball L. Garrett
      Ornithology Collections Manager
      Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
      900 Exposition Blvd.
      Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
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