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5.10. The age-sex-group attributes

birdnotes.rnc
age-sex-group =
(   attribute age { "u" | "a" | "i" | "p" }?,  1
    attribute sex { "u" | "m" | "f" }?,        2
    attribute q { " " | "?" | "-" }?,          3
    attribute count { text }?,                 4
    attribute fide { text }?                   5
)
1

Age class of the birds seen:

u Unknown age; the default.
a Adult.
i Immature, subadult, or juvenal.
p Female or immature (φ), which is actually a combination of an age constraint and a sex constraint: it's not an adult male.
2

Sex of the birds seen. In some of the author's data sets, code “p” can occur, because this stands for “female or immature” and is thus both an age and a sex. However, to simplify processing, we will force that value to occur only in age codes.

u Unknown (the default).
m Male.
f Female.
3

If the observer is not certain of the identification, use attribute q='?' to flag the record as questionable. Such records should be considered a best guess, but not useable for scientific purposes, or countable in a birding context (such as for the purposes of reporting totals to the American Birding Association).

Code q='-' indicates that the identity is not in question, but it is not ABA countable.

4

For many records, no count of individuals is given. However, the count attribute is available for specifying counts or estimates in various ways:

  • Actual numbers or estimates such as count='3' or count='50000'.

  • count='#' means “more than one”, and is the default interpretation.

  • A “+” suffix means “or more;” for example, count='9+' means nine or more.

  • A “-” suffix means “or less;” such as count='6-' for “not more than six.”

  • If the estimate is a range, use two numbers with a hyphen between them. For example, count='30-40' means there were about thirty to forty individuals.

  • A tilde (~) prefix is used to indicate an approximate count, e.g., “~100” for “about a hundred.”

5

When the primary observer did not personally see the bird, but wishes to pass on secondhand reports, use a fide attribute whose value is the name or names of the actual observers. For example:

    fide='Glenn Kendall'

One should assume that the veracity of the record is that of the stated observer. Such records are not considered countable for birding totals.