Date: 7/4/18 6:12 am
From: <mresch8702...>
Subject: Re: [MASSBIRD] Pennsylvania accepts Black-backed Oriole Record

Eric -

Thanks for sharing the updates and the links. It's interesting to see how the PA and MA committees treated what turns out to be very most likely the exact same bird.

A quote from the PA committee report -
"there was far more evidence to support this being a wild bird of natural origins, versus an escaped captive bird"

A quote from the MA committee report -
"all committee members felt that a captive origin could not be ruled out"

It seems like these 2 comments are very similar, yet the 2 committees came up with 2 very different conclusions. I'm not saying either conclusion is right or wrong. Instead it would just be nice to have consistent decisions.

The next step will be to see if the Oriole is accepted onto the ABA list. Just because it has been accepted by the PA committee, it doesn't mean it will be added to the ABA list. Remember the 2012 Hooded Crane in TN? It was accepted by the TN committee but then was not added to the ABA list.

Over the years I've seen a Striped Sparrow in TX and a Tropical Mockingbird in FL, neither of which were accepted by the state review committees, as they followed what turned out to be a conservative strategy similar to that used by MARC. If the TX and FL committees followed the more liberal PA approach, I could have 2 more species on my lifelist right now.

Personally, as a member of the NH Rare Bird Committee, I'm looking forward to evaluating the Common Shelduck that spent much of the late summer and early fall of 2017 on the NH coast. A key point in the NH RBC Bylaws is that a potential first record for the state requires a unanimous vote in order to be accepted. Even though the PA committee accepted the Oriole there, the final vote was just 6-1. That wouldn't have met the high bar established by the NH committee.

Like I said, consistency would be nice.

Thanks for listening...

Mike Resch
Pepperell, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric <elabato...>
To: massbird <massbird...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 22, 2018 5:51 pm
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Pennsylvania accepts Black-backed Oriole Record

I just saw on Facebook that the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee accepted the Black-backed Oriole record from January to April 2017. The same bird turned up in Massachusetts in May 2017 but the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee rejected it.

Here is a link to their report:;id=1435746

Here is a link to the Massachusetts report for comparison:

Eric Labato
Malden, MA

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