A bit of a "less popular" topic about the ORBC ---- is there a problem with the continued trend of getting photographs, but no supporting details... The goal is documentation of the occurrence, not just trying to decide if the correct ID was made.....
This post (below) was put on the record committee listserv a while ago, and I really liked the idea:
(the bold/underline was done by me)
This won’t help Martin’s situation in NV since the GA Checklist & Records Committee does have a governing organization (the GOS). But, we had a similar problem in GA with a decline in rare bird report submissions in the early – mid 2000’s, coinciding with the wide adoption & availability of digital photography equipment and the proliferation of Internet photo-sharing sites. Birders just did not see the value of going through the process of “officially” documenting their sightings when the photos are readily available for a much wider audience to review.
The Editorial Committee of _The Oriole_, the GOS’ scientific journal, established a policy in the latter part of the decade that a review species would not be included in the popular seasonal summary feature (entitled “From the Field” or FTF) unless a rare bird report was submitted to the GCRC…the report was not required to have proceeded through the review process, it just had to be submitted (FTF is written many months prior to a report being circulated). This policy helped reverse the decline in GCRC rare bird report submissions.
When an observer submits a report, a tracking number is assigned, along with a cc: email to the FTF editor (as well as our state eBird reviewer) for their awareness. A publicly-viewable web page is also updated with the tracking number & sighting information. The review species sighting then generally qualifies for inclusion in the FTF accompanied with the tracking number, so that an interested reader can follow-up to see whether the record was accepted or not.
The resulting number of GCRC submissions/year doubled after the policy was enacted. Our FTF editor still has to track down some reports every season, but we log the review species that we hear about (mostly via the state listserve and increasingly via eBird) on a web page (also publicly viewable) as soon as we get a few crucial details (makes tracking the sighting a little easier for the FTF editor).
Forsyth Co., GA
So what do you think? No more including a record in the annual report unless it is accompanied by some form of written documentation?
Good idea? Bad idea? Any other ideas to try and improve the quality of submissions to the OBRC?