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March 2007


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Allan Strong <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 28 Mar 2007 14:14:56 -0400
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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, 
>wouldn't it?
>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?