Date: 2/4/19 8:17 am
From: 'David Simpson' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Subject: Re: [cobirds] RE: How to find your true Colorado bird list total
Hi all,

State committees are inherently variable and even absent from some states, therefore they are an impractical means of establishing a level playing field in the ABA Listing game.  Furthermore, the ABA Checklist Committee is only interested in reviewing first occurrences within the ABA Area.  Any state first records occurring after that would be up to the local states' committees (or lack thereof).  Anyone wishing to count those birds on state, local, or ABA lists would be at their discretion to do so, regardless of state and local committee decisions.  Furthermore, state and local committees are not a part of the ABA, although they often provide useful guidance when considering first occurrences of species within the ABA Area.  They also provide useful guidance for ABA Listers considering whether or not to count a particular species, but are not binding by the rules of the game.

Full listing rules:  ABA Listing Rules

David Simpson
Fellsmere, FL

On Feb 03, 2019, at 10:55 PM, Andrew Bankert <abankert2007...> wrote:

I could not find any mention of state records committees in the ABA Recording Rules.  Has anyone seen anything saying that records committees have any say in ABA list totals?  Here are the rules I was referring to in my first email:

For vagrants it seems pretty clear to me that personal judgement and knowledge are what matters:
(ii) A species observed far from its normal range may be counted if, in the observer’s best judgment and knowledge, it arrived there unassisted by man. A wild bird following or riding a ship at sea, without being captured, is considered traveling unassisted by man.

For introduced species it seems like strays from established populations (in conjunction with the rule above) are countable:
(v) an individual of an introduced species may be counted only when part of, or straying from, a population that meets the ABA Checklist Committee’s definition of being established; 

Again, I personally think that official state lists tend to be more accurate, but I do believe records committees are occasionally too conservative and have rejected species that should have either been accepted or at least received more consideration and the ABA rules are nice in some situations if a lister thinks a decision was too cautious.

Andy Bankert
Fort Collins

On Sun, Feb 3, 2019 at 8:18 PM Joe Roller <jroller9...> wrote:
Andy,
This is NOT my understanding. 
You can count those geese on the ABA checklist ONLY if you have
seen them in the states out east where they have been accepted by the state bird record committees. 
Ditto with Mute Swan and Budgerigar. They are established and countable in some states, but you have
to see one where the local population is established in order to add it to your ABA area or Lower 48 list. 
"Personal judgment" does not trump State Records Committees. The whole idea of having rules for listing
is so we are all on a level playing field.

Joe Roller, Denver

On Sun, Feb 3, 2019 at 7:59 PM Andrew Bankert <abankert2007...> wrote:
I just wanted to add a quick note that is really minor about listing. If you do report your totals to the ABA you can count anything on the ABA checklist in your state totals even if that species hasn't been accepted by the state records committee.  That means for ABA, you can count Pink-footed and Barnacle Goose if, in your own personal best judgement, you think they arrived unassisted by man.  You cannot count Rufous-collared Sparrow since that does not appear on the ABA checklist.  For ABA, you can even count Mute Swan if you see one you believe is a stray from the countable populations in the Midwest.  I still think that using the official state list is a better way to keep track, but I just wanted to clarify for anyone using ABA's listing rules.  

Andy Bankert
Fort Collins

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