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Hi everybody,

As I was filling out the rare species documentation form the other night
for the (provisional) first VT Prairie Falcon, I realized that it would
be beneficial for everyone to see what the form consists of BEFORE
encountering a rare bird, so birders who are not familiar with the process
can know exactly what to look for and take notes/photos of in order to get
a record excepted. Going through past years annual rare bird committee
reports, one can see that each year many rare bird reports are rejected due
to insufficient information. As Tom posted in his previous email, many of
us just aren't in that "rare bird mentality" and may overlook, or not quite
know what is expected for documentation when we encounter something that
may be potentially rare. If you see something that you aren't sure of, or
something that you think may be a rare bird, the best advice is to take as
many detailed notes about everything you possibly can about the bird,
including behavior, habitat, posture, etc. And try to get photos. Photos
make the committees job MUCH easier when deciding whether or not a record
should be accepted. But for a full run-down of what is expected, I've
posted a link to the Vermont bird records committee web page where you can
open the Rare Bird Documentation form (bullet #2 in the list of how to
report a rare bird).
I hope this helps anyone in the future!

http://www.vtecostudies.org/vbrc/reporting.htm

Happy Birding,
Tyler