/ Shipman's Home Sweet Homepage
/ Site map
CBC Compilers: When to submit details
There are several situations in which you should submit
details (photographs, drawings, sound recordings, or detailed
written descriptions) for a bird's occurrence in the circle:
- Any bird
flagged with "US" (unusual species).
- Birds whose identification is difficult or which are
- If you get good photographs of a bird on the count, even
if it is not all that uncommon, send a slide, print, or
digitized image (as an e-mail attachment in JPG or GIF format).
Audubon is always looking for publication-quality photos for
publication in the CBC issue.
Here is a partial list of species for which you should
always provide details, and the reasons why I want them:
- Any flicker other than Red-shafted Flicker or apparent hybrid.
Because hybrids are so common in our state, and because good
information about identification is hard to come by, I am
extremely skeptical of any report of a pure Yellow-shafted type.
In the last few years we have also had a rash of reports of
Gilded Flicker. However much an individual bird may resemble
field guide depictions of Gilded Flicker, the New Mexico Rare
Bird Records Committee has yet to accept any such records.
The historic range of Gilded Flicker in Arizona does not come anywhere
close to New Mexico, and the Arizona authorities are not aware
of any records of individuals wandering even short distances
outside its known range.
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I don't automatically reject such
records, but good records are few and far between. The critical
field marks of sapsuckers are quite subtle, and in most localities
you should see 100 Red-naped for every Yellow-bellied. In particular,
the lack of red on the nape is not sufficient to prove the ID.
Please observe and carefully describe the patterns of the throat
and back, at the very least. Kenn
Kaufman's Advanced Birding is an invaluable resource.
Some authorities (e.g., Dr. John Hubbard) even dispute Kaufman's
statement that any bird in immature plumage in late December must
be a Yellow-bellied.
- Cassin's Sparrow. This species is one of the nastiest ID
problems on the continent. Some authorities (e.g., Dr. Sartor
Williams of NM Game&Fish) dispute whether it can be identified
without hearing its voice. If you report this species, please
describe everything you can---the entire plumage, the behavior,
shape of head, body, and tail, and the microhabitat. You will
be well served by consulting Jim Rising's book
The sparrows of the United States and Canada.
- Clay-colored Sparrow. Identification of the entire
Spizella complex is tricky. Again, see
Kaufman's Advanced Birding or Rising's sparrow guide.
Next: CBC Compilers: How to submit details
See also: Christmas Bird Counts in New Mexico
Previous: CBC Compilers: The Unusual Species (US) flag
John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2000/05/04 18:23:15