First Report of the Rare Records Committee of Connecticut
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FIRST REPORT AND INQUIRY FOR THE RARE RECORDS COMMITTEE
By George A. Clark, Jr.
The Connecticut Warbler, 6(1): 2-3 (January 1986)
The Connecticut Ornithological Association Rare Records Committee, composed during 1985 of Tom Burke, George Clark, Fred Purnell, Fred Sibley, Mark Szantyr, Clay Taylor, and Dennis Varza, first met during 1985 and has begun to establish procedures for review of records of rarities in Connecticut. Mark Szantyr was elected by the committee as the first Records Secretary, and people who wish to submit reports for review by the committee should send them to him ( 2 Treat Street, Apt. 6A, West Haven, CT 06516). Dennis Varza was elected Assistant Records Secretary. The committee is to serve as a clearinghouse for collection and review of records. Files are to be kept at the Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, and at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. The committee is to review submitted records and to publish its evaluation of those records. The committee should serve to bring such records to the attention of a wider audience and to encourage a more thorough documentation in reports of rarities. Well known rare records committees such as those in Britain and California have served to promote a higher standard of documentation for rarities, and it is hoped that the Connecticut committee will serve a similar function for this state. A rare records committee can neither verify nor invalidate any records, but can provide a judgment on the adequacy of the evidence presented in support of unusual sightings.
In its initial meeting the Rare Records Committee addressed the question of what species have been adequately demonstrated to occur in Connecticut. Using a conservative requirement of specimen or photographic evidence, the committee found that more than 350 species of birds have been authenticated for a state list. However, there are a number of species that have possibly or probably occurred as wild birds in the state but for which more evidence might be helpful. We would therefore greatly appreciate knowing of additional unpublished records, photographs, or specimens of the following species or subspecies: Arctic Loon, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, White-tailed Tropicbird, Reddish Egret, Wood Stork, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Barnacle Goose, Tufted Duck, Rufous-necked Stint, Pomarine Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, South Polar Skua, Mew Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Ivory Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Arctic Tern, Bridled Tern, White-winged Tern, Razorbill, White-winged Dove, Great Gray Owl, Rufous Hummingbird, Say’s Phoebe, Gray Jay, Bewick’s Wren, Townsend’s Solitaire, Bohemian Waxwing, Bell’s Vireo, Audubon’s Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Baird’s Sparrow, Le Conte’s Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Brewer’s Blackbird.
Box U-43, Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06268.