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Mendocino County Bird Review Committee

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  • Robert J. Keiffer
    4 April 2007 - For a couple of decades now I have been responsible for compiling bird records from Mendocino County and submitting quarterly reports to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2007
      4 April 2007 - For a couple of decades now I have been responsible
      for compiling bird records from Mendocino County and submitting
      quarterly reports to the Northern California editors for North
      American Birds publication. In this role, I was at times confronted
      with the decision as to whether or not to accept certain bird
      observation records as credible. This is a very serious role and
      responsibility when making decisions concerning extremely rare birds
      and/or first and second county records.

      In order to more fairly and scientifically review such bird
      observation records, several of Mendocino County's active birders
      have worked over the last couple years to establish the "Mendocino
      County Bird Review Committee" (MCBRC) to review pertinent local bird
      observation records. We have recently solidified some guidelines
      which I will share with you:

      1) the MCBRC will review observation records of bird species that
      are possibly first or second county records, and first breeding records
      2) there are six members on the MCBRC, all avid local county birders
      with good local bird identification experience. Current members
      include George Chaniot,
      Bob Keiffer, Ron LeValley, Matthew Matthiessen, "Toby"
      Tobkin, and Jerry White
      3) observation records are voted to be either "Accepted" or "Not
      Accepted" based upon observer details, notes, photos, etc. It takes
      a 6:0 or 5:1 vote in
      order for a record to be "ACCEPTED"
      4) the MCBRC will honor the state status (based upon the California
      Bird Records Committee) of any state "Review Species" as long as the species is
      listed on the state "Review Species List" (examples: Shy
      Albatross, Dark-rumped Petrel, Manx Shearwater, Yellow-billed Loon, etc.)
      5) the MCBRC will review any past CBRC Review Species records if the
      species is dropped from the CBRC Review Species List (example: Yellow Rail)
      6) the MCBRC members agree that a species should be "ACCEPTED"
      before the species is added to the official county bird list
      7) the MCBRC will be reviewing some older bird species observation
      records and current status on the official Mendocino County Bird List
      8) the MCBRC will be, in the near future, further establishing
      Bylaws similar (but simpler) to the Western Field Ornithologists -
      California Bird Records
      Committee Bylaws

      I hope that all Mendocino County birders will embrace the importance
      of this committee and it's responsibility to insure good, solid,
      well-documented bird observation records within the county. When
      observing any rare, unusual, or out-of-season bird it is important to
      document it well with good descriptive notes,
      sketches, photographs, multiple-observers, etc. Observers with such
      documentation are encouraged to send documentation reports to Bob
      Keiffer, 4070 University Road, Hopland CA 95449 or email to

      I know that this may be overwhelming and new to some, and I encourage
      you to send your comments or concerns to me. Also, for those who are
      unware of the "review system" I encourage you to review the Western
      field Ornithologists website http://www.wfo-cbrc.org/

      Thanks, Bob Keiffer

      Robert J. Keiffer
      Principal Supt. of Agriculture
      UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
      4070 University Road
      Hopland, CA 95449
      (707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
      HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html

      "It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how
      the strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have
      done better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the
      arena." Theodore Roosevelt

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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