Saturday, November 24, 2012

2011 OBRC annual report should be in your hands!

It looks like the issue of Ontario Birds containing the 2011 OBRC report should be in your hands... Mine arrived last week in the snailmail..

Which means those of us on the committee who dealt with these records 10 months ago can now freely talk about public knowledge!

Some things I noticed in the printed version:

--- generic message of "the bad trend of photo-only reports continue" --- maybe this time it'll help solve the problem? Wait, I actually doubt that...

--- I have made my contribution to the "creepy photos of OBRC members collection" in the team pic..

--- Changes to the checklist - that Pyrrhuloxia issue has been dealt with and added to the list! Exciting, right? ***remember this point, by the way*** ... Also added Least Tern to the "north" review list..

--- The subspecies/forms review list has finally been updated.. It was terrifying before... Like, really bad...

Want to see how bad it was? It's still the "old version" online... Hopefully we can get this updated soon...

--- "colour morphs are not to be reviewed" - is a cool point, although there is no note that says we make an acception for any reports/records of "Cory's" Least Bittern (still reviewing)

--- Added "Oregon" Junco to the review list.. That should make everyone happy.. right?

--- we're still doing that stupid idea of putting (adult) or (immature) beside the proper plumage terminology...

--- Brett Fried makes a personal appearance in the "records" section handling a Northern Gannet!

A bird that appears here in the 2011 report.. Needed something to break up the endless text.. 

--- One record that really surprised me was the JUVENILE Ibis sp from Cornwall that arrived on July 23rd... This bird looks rather mature as well (based on bill growth) which made me think this bird must have arrived from a breeding colony that was exceptionally far south (meaning a very early start to the nesting season).

--- The best report of 2012 went to the "Western" Red-tailed Hawk record ... This report was beautiful... Just beautiful... Although there is also a lot of confusion surrounding it from he committee point of view, as myself (and some others ) were pretty sure we didn't review records of this subspecies, that is rare but regular in Ontario.....  Report was just awesome though.... And now we officially no longer review this subspecies

--- That Least Tern pic from Atikokan has to be one of the most beautiful rarity pics I've ever seen taken in Ontario... What a bird...

--- Now is the time to remember and be happy that the Pyrrhuloxia record has been accepted, right?! Because we deferred the Smew record from Whitby..... Whoops...... I fully expect the 2012 committee to make a decision on this record, so hopefully you'll have less than a year before it is totally dealt with! (if any of you REALLY care what the OBRC decides ;)  )

--- Strange story for you to read about some 1961 F. Whistling Ducks near the end of the article!

And that's just about all she wrote..

What do you think.... Good article? Happy with everything?? Anything you'd like to say about the 2011 report (or anything else) to the OBRC? Because I can make sure it gets to the next meeting.


  1. So can I group my nine dickcissels from rainy river into one writeup to count a 9 records,or do i have to enter each one individually?

    1. There are some who have been on the OBRC a long time (cough *Alan* cough) who would want separate reports for each.... Although I don't fully understand why you HAVE to (the theory is we may say no to one bird but accept the other 8) ... But yeah... I had 5 Hornemann's Hoaries in the same redpoll flock a few years ago, and wrote a single report...

      THen we have a problem where before the package gets sent out, they try to "split" the single report into 5, without informing us, and it makes for a very ugly batch of records to vote on..

      This actually happened last year, where we had the same report split in half, and I remember my comments being something along the lines of "I can't accept this, this report is largely carbon copy of the last report the observer sent!" And little did I know the true context.. And now my comments were sent back to said observer and they probably think I'm an idiot...

      Anyways, long story short - probably best to write up different reports for each...

    2. Tyler, not easy to answer your question because you have not indicated whether or not this is a colony of 8 Dickcissels, or did you see Dickcissels at 8 different locations?

      And how does the OBRC know if all 8 were really Dickcissels, unless all are described? Isn't that the premiere reason for writing Rare Bird Reports in the first place?

      If your Dickcissels were separated by some distance and there was no interactions between them, then obviously they are considered separate records. Otherwise, if you saw some Dickcissels at Rainy River and some more at Harris Hill, how would one list and map such occurences if either you (or the OBRC) considered them a single record?

      Along these same lines, a long LONG time ago I petitioned the OBRC to clarify these situations IN WRITING, but my request fell on deaf ears. So it is yet another item (of many) that sits in the bin of "unfinished business." It would be most helpful to all involved if the OBRC were to describe and put into writing what constitutes "a record." If for example, there is a pair of Dickcissels here and then another pair a mile or two away, the OBRC guideline on such a situation should have been described and recorded a long time ago!

  2. wow, pretty lucky that Cave Swallow came off the list. Nothing like dodging 52 bullets. That would have sucked to have done full write-ups on each. Wouldn't want to submit photo-only submissions, no sirree.

    sorry, only a little bitter it's still a write-up in MI.

    1. yeah... I guess I don't fully understand the situation, where if you have a flock of birds (eg,/ 4 Glossy Ibis) - they're happy with getting a single report... so Cave Swallows could be written up in each "flock" that was seen, but still would have been huge pain in the backside (I've seen 154 this year)...

      Sounds like there is some disappointment floating around with the MI records group.. Are they just picky??