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Rare Bird Alert Fans:

First of all -- Please make note that the RBA is for Jan. 6, 2006,  
not 2005. I am paying attention, really.

Second -- You might notice that the Jan. 6 Rare Bird Alert is a bit  
longer than most have been in the past. This is because this time I  
tried something a little different: I included birds that are listed  
as "rare" in the winter, but which are otherwise expected in warmer  
seasons (such as the waterfowl, Double-crested Cormorant, Marsh Wren,  
and Brown Thrasher).

In the past, I have edited out these lingering species or early  
arrivals so that the RBA includes only species that are listed as  
"rare" year-round (such as Merlin or Trumpeter Swan). The advantage  
of doing this "editing" is that it's easy to scan the summary list  
and pick out your potential year or life bird. The disadvantage,  
especially this time of year, is that you might not see a report of  
that "rare winter resident" Marsh Wren that you'd really like to get  
in order to reach 100 by the end of January.

So, I'd like your feedback: Which do you prefer? A summary of year- 
round rarities; or an all-inclusive report of anything that's rare at  
that particular time of year in that particular part of the state?

Finally, below my signature is a brief summary of my method for  
compiling the RBA, and the criteria that I use when deciding whether  
to include a sighting in the Alert. This might come in handy for you  
when reporting your sightings to MoBirds or directly to me.

Thank you to everyone who reports their sightings. Feel free to e- 
mail me with any questions or comments.

Kristi Mayo
Missouri RBA Compiler
Kearney, MO (Clay Co.)
[log in to unmask]

It is my belief that the Missouri RBA is a tool for birders who are  
looking for unusual birds. So, there are three basic guidelines that  
I follow when decided whether to include a particular sighting:

1) The bird must be listed as "rare", "casual", or "accidental" on  
the Annotated Checklist of Missouri Birds.

2) The bird must be present, or seen within a reasonable amount of  
time prior to the release of the RBA. (In other words, a month-old  
sighting of a fly-over, or even a two-week old sighting with no  
subsequent followup sightings may not be included.)

3) The bird must be in an accessible location (i.e. not on private  
property) and the sighting must include reasonably specific  
locations. (In other words, simply providing the county name or the  
city name would not be enough for someone to chase the bird with any  
degree of confidence.)

In short, the RBA is not a seasonal report. It's a listing of  
current, "chase-able" birds.

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