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MOBIRDERS --

Thanks to Bob for posting a provocative message.  Just to add a bit for
clarification, Hoary Redpoll is an accepted species for Iowa so if one is
concerned about "countability", you just have to be comfortable with your
own ID to count it for Iowa.  What we (the Iowa Records Committee) end up
doing with this individual record for posterity shouldn't be of major
concern.  If you're interested, a number of people from all over the world
have weighed in with opinions on this particular bird.  While there is
certainly a split in opinions, the majority are coming down on the Hoary
side.  Hope some more of you can make it up here to see these neat little
critter.  He is a pretty little guy.

Ann Johnson
Norwalk, IA

-----Original Message-----
From: MO Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Robert Fisher
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 8:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: "Countability" of Iowa Hoary Redpoll


Missouri birders who need Hoary Repoll should not be put off by all of the
discussion of field marks on the Iowa list and should seriously consider
going up to see the bird. I believe it is, in fact, a Hoary Redpoll and
suspect that most of the Iowa birders probably agree privately .

Although I have not myself been up to see it, I believe the Iowa bird is a
good Hoary Redpoll because (1) it has responded quickly to taped Hoary
Redpoll calls and ignored a Common Redpoll call, and (2) virtually all of
the dispositive field marks for Hoary Redpoll are present. It is now
possible to view lots of excellent photos of the bird on line. See e.g. 
http://www.hologrambirds.com/redpoll/ ;
http://www.vividpix.com/temp/Brenton_Redpoll/index.htm

Of course, the Iowa Committee has not yet made a decision and probably will
not do so for some time. There is always the possibility that it will reject
the ID or give it only hypothetical status. But that should not deter anyone
from making his or her own identification.

It is widely believed that ABA rules require a bird to be accepted by the
state records committee and placed on the state checklist before it becomes
"countable," but that belief is completely false. ABA list reporting rules
say nothing about state committees or state checklists. The five ABA list
reporting rules are as follows:

  1.. The bird must have been within the prescribed area and time period
when encountered.
  2.. The bird must have been a species currently accepted by the ABA
Checklist Committee for lists within its area, by the A.O.U. Checklist for
lists outside the ABA area and within the A.O.U. area, and by Clements for
all other areas.
  3.. The bird must have been alive, wild, and unrestrained when
encountered.
  4.. Diagnostic field marks for the bird, sufficient to identify to
species, must have been seen and/or heard and/or documented by the recorder
at the time of the encounter.
  5.. The bird must have been encountered under conditions that conform to
the ABA Code of Ethics.
See generally http://www.americanbirding.org/resources/reslistru2.htm

Hoary Redpoll is on the ABA checklist. Therefore, so long as the observation
meets the other ABA listing criteria, it is OK to certify an ABA list, a
Lower 48 list or an Iowa list with Hoary Redpoll on it notwithstanding the
Iowa committee has yet to act.

ABA Rules only apply to reports to ABA. The lister is on his/her own for all
other purposes. -- i.e. except when reporting to ABA, the lister plays the
game according to his/her own rules.


Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask] 

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*              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
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