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Re: [CALBIRDS] Any known Chukar sightings for Kings Co, please?

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  • Don Roberson
    Elias -- you may be confusing the official county list with county record keeping. For example, Monterey County has an official county list that includes all
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 13, 2010
      Elias -- you may be confusing the "official county list" with county
      record keeping. For example, Monterey County has an official county list
      that includes all native birds, all vagrants that have acceptable
      documentation, and the non-native exotics which have populations within
      Monterey County that meet the CBRC definition of "establsihed" here.
      However, Monterey has always kept track of all free-flying birds. If you
      look at either "Monterey Birds" 2d ed (2003) or the Breeding Bird Atlas
      (1993), you will find appendices detailing the facts about pheasants,
      chukars, flamingos, parrots, and other non-native that do not qualify
      for the official county list. There is no reduction in record keeping
      for birds not on the county list.

      The county list serves numerous purposes, including as a resource for
      the public and governmental agencies to determine what birds have
      occurred within the county and that meet long-established guidelines for
      official checklists, going back to the AOU lists of the 1800s (and
      maintained rigorously today).

      Birders use official checklists as guidelines for their own listing
      efforts and often birders use them to compare lists with each other.
      Those interesting in birding the entire State enjoy comparing the
      official lists in each county, and Joe Morlan has an entire website that
      features this information.

      If we started adding all the free-flying escapes from captivity on these
      lists -- I have seen Hyacinth Macaw free-flying in San Francisco and a
      peacock-pheasant "in the wild" in Monterey -- the lists would become
      meaningless for these birder-friendly comparative purposes.

      However, please understand that county record keepers continue to
      compile information even about the most unlikely escapees. I have
      details on all the flamingos that have escaped in Monterey County, going
      back a half-century or more. I also maintain records on Chukars here.
      Like Kings County, there is not and never has been an established
      population. All records have proved to be from ranches raising and
      releasing Chukars for hunting, or escapes from private aviculturalists.

      Don Roberson
      County record keeper for Monterey County
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