The Massachusetts records committee does post its decisions on line, and it
looks like they have accepted 4 Barnacle Goose records in the last +/- 5
years (and a 5th report was not accepted). Although I serve on the VT
records committee, I must admit I don't know what our criteria are for
assessing the origin of individuals that have a history of presence in
captivity. Some, obviously are filtered out immediately (Ringed Turtle
Dove, White-tailed Hawk, etc.), but others are more difficult to assess.
At 01:33 PM 3/28/2007 -0500, you wrote:
>For whatever it's worth, my understanding is the very conservative
>Massachusetts records committee is also firmly opposed to accepting
>Barnacle goose. I've been told that one of the reasons is that these
>birds are widely kept in private -- often illegal and therefore unbanded
>-- collections of exotics and frequently escape.
>(Can't personally verify either of the above, just repeating what I've
>been told by more knowlegeable people.)
>I wonder about the issue of feather wear as a determinant. I would think
>the presence of a particular pattern would be a pretty good indication
>that the bird is a recent escape, but unless I'm undereducated on the
>subject, I don't see how its absence can prove it's not, since over time,
>the damaged feathers would be replaced, and even the behavior would become
>more "wild" after a couple of years of associating with a wild flock,
>If the default assumption of records committees is that a Barnacle is an
>escape unless proven otherwise, is the only acceptable proof of wild
>origin then a band recovery?