This was brought up in the comments of a recent "OBRC related" post, and I couldn't help but do a blog post about it.......
I feel like this is a mega "gray area" where we aren't going to change anything, but is a very interesting topic.. (I mean, hey, maybe we do change something for the better, which is ALWAYS a good thing)......
The SMEW in Whitby last December...
One has to question just how well we can determine the origins of many "rarities" that occur in Ontario every year..... Clearly most are wild vagrants, and clearly we do the best we can, but you'd be insane to not think that a number of our "vagrants" were assisted by humans in some way, or that some birds we reject as "questionable" are actually wild birds........
Here's a random sample of some things I find funny about the OBRC:
--- Virtually every Barnacle Goose is rejected (for good reason, there are a LOT in captivity) --- but at the same time, a species like Tufted Duck is pretty much always accepted?
--- Most (all?) Black-billed Magpies are rejected, yet the species BREEDS in Ontario... Yet we suddenly changed our minds on Painted Buntings several years ago, and now all records are accepted
Point Pelee in May - REJECTED
Long Point in August - ACCEPTED
And then there are a few really dangerous records..... Like the SMEW records above that the OBRC is currently dealing with..... Should the OBRC just accept a record like this, to keep the Ontario birding community happy ;) ?
Again, not expecting too much in the way of ground breaking material, but if you have any comments related to situations like this (or any suggestions!) please leave a comment!
And just for fun, I'll leave a few other "funny" cases from the OBRC -
The Milford BBWD from 2010 --- that most of Ontario got to see :) --- although I don't think anyone submitted documentation that shows the bird was missing one of its halluxes :|
BTSP from Port Burwell in Aug 2009 --- check out that "cage foot" ;)