The MBRC held its annual meeting at Columbia a week ago, on August 20. Here are some of the main results.
Prior to the meeting, via email, Mark Robbins was re-elected for a new term, and Lisa Berger of Springfield was elected to fill the position of outgoing member Kristi Mayo. Lisa is well known to the Missouri birding community and has recently begun serving as an eBird reviewer. She and Kristi were both in attendance, along with Brad Jacobs (Chair), Bill Rowe (Secretary), Joe Eades, Paul McKenzie, Mark Robbins, and Josh Uffman. Kristi was thanked warmly for her contributions over two terms (eight years) on the Committee.
At least two members (Jacobs and Berger) will be at the annual fall meeting of the Audubon Society of Missouri, where the list of Top Ten birds for 2015 will be publicized. Thereafter it will be posted on the ASM web site, mobirds.org.
Seasonal editors for the Bluebird and North American Birds were finalized. Assignments were spring 2016, Greg Swick (Uffman compiling for NAB); summer 2016, McKenzie (NAB compiled by Iowa); fall 2016, Eades (including NAB); and winter 2016-17, Mary Nemecek (Bluebird only; NAB done by Iowa). To email an editor, please go to "Seasonal Reports" under the Birds menu at mobirds.org. The Committee encourages all Missouri birders to contribute to the seasonal reports by sending the editor notes, at the end of each season, on all significant sightings. These might include rare species (with details or photographs to substantiate them), unusually large numbers, low numbers or absence of an expected species, etc. This is a great way to contribute to a long-established information source. Another great way is eBird, but reports made solely through eBird may not reach the seasonal editors. Birders are asked to avoid simply sending their own personal high and low counts if those are expected and normal for their region.
Mark Robbins reported on his progress with a complete revision of Birds of Missouri.
The Committee discussed some records that had not yet been finalized over email (the usual process) and spent additional time on a few other species, including existing records of Harris's Hawk and Cassin's Sparrow (Provisional) and others that may at some point be added to the state list.
There were a large number of likely changes to the status of various species on the Annotated Checklist of Missouri Birds (on line at www.mobirds.org) -- so many that the discussion of these will continue for some weeks beyond the meeting, with results to be posted here on Mobirds-L when complete. We can, however, announce one definite new addition to the state list: Hooded Oriole, based on photographs of an adult male on May 20, 2016. This was a one-time sighting; the bird was never re-found.
In July, the American Ornithologists' Union published the 57th Supplement to its Check-list of North American Birds. Of the many changes adopted there, only two affected individual species on our Missouri Annotated Checklist: (1) Sandhill Crane is no longer assigned to the genus Grus with the Whooping Crane and others; it has been placed in a separate genus and is now known as Antigone canadensis. (2) The former Green Violetear, an accidental species in Missouri, is still Colibri thalassinus but has the new English name of Mexican Violetear due to a split from a close relative in the tropics.
On a larger scale, based on the latest genetic analysis of relationships, the AOU did some major rearranging of the orders of birds, and also of the families within the passerine birds. All of these adjustments have been made to our Annotated Checklist online. Don't be surprised to find hummingbirds listed before rails, or finches before warblers -- or to see Baltimore Oriole as the last species on the checklist. (No, they haven't deleted House Sparrow and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Look around!)
More to come, as we get status issues resolved. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Bill Rowe, Secretary
ABA Birding Code of Ethics
ASM Fall Meeting: September 23-25, 2016 at Camp Clover Point, Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Kaiser, MO Details and Online Registration