RBA Area Checklist
The RBA Area Checklist lists only species that generally occur in the greater Rochester area. “Generally occur” is a loose term, as this may apply to a species that is only reported a handful of times from year-to-year. Species that may only be reported once or twice a year or are not reported every year fall into a no man’s land that gets reevaluated with each new revision. Of course, the birds themselves change their ranges over time which also leads to periodic reassessments of their checklist status.
In any event, there are several blank lines at the end of the checklist to write in species not listed. This list follows the latest taxonomic listing from the American Ornithologists’ Union. Each species listed is followed by two boxes. Use these as you wish! Example items to record are checkmarks, numbers of individuals, sublocations within larger birding areas, times of observations, ages, plumage observations, and other brief notes.
A number of species are listed with an asterisk. These are species that are considered noteworthy for one reason or another at the time of the latest checklist revision. (Asterisks are reevaluated with each new revision, too!). As such, extra information is requested when submitting the observation. There is no definitive list of what should be reported, as each situation is unique. However, we encourage you to write so we can document the knowledge of area birds.
Here are some suggestions on things to evaluate and report when observing a species with an asterisk: time, weather conditions, accompanying observers, other birds in the area, activity and behavior of the bird (feeding, preening, flying, docile, agitated, etc.), detailed plumage description and condition, seeing conditions, difficulty or ease of identification, and whether you have seen the species before or if it is a lifer. Photographs and videos are perhaps the easiest and one of the best ways to garner a bulk of this information.
Perhaps it goes without saying that any species not on the checklist should be treated as having an asterisk, or two! Please try to report to the local listservs or facebook pages, so other birders have a chance to benefit from your sighting.
After returning from the field, feel free to send a copy of your checklist to the RBA statistics chair, either as hardcopy or electronically. Alternately, use it in the preparation of your eBird entry or GeneseeBirds posting. Please include copies of any pictures or videos, or links to where they are posted online.
RBA Feeder Checklist
For long term monitoring of backyard feeder birds, we recommend that you join Project FeederWatch. But RBA is interested in documentation of local feeder bird sightings that may be unusual.
Use these forms to submit your feeder bird sightings to Andrea Patterson, bird records chair.
Andrea Patterson, 144 Greystone Lane #24, Rochester NY 14618.