My favourite issue of Ontario Birds...The August Issue!! Fitting that Pyrrhuloxia is on the front.
Got my favourite issue of Ontario Birds this week, the August issue that (almost) always has the OBRC report. :D
If you are a member of the Ontario Field Ornithologists you will receive this great report and stay up to date on any changes that the OBRC makes. If you are not a member of OFO, you are too cheap to spend $35.00 for a membership that lasts a whole year with free fieldtrips and great publications.
A few changes made this year makes a lot of sense. For instance, there must be at least one accepted OBRC record for recognizable forms of bird species seen in the province. For some reason I thought it was always like this since that is how species were treated for the Ontario List. Guess I was wrong. I just assumed there was at least one record of "Red-shafted" Northern Flicker for Ontario.
The second change is that a recognizable form of a species must be seen less than 5 times per year. That makes perfect sense. I wonder if that applies for species as well? If this is the case, we have seen it already in Cave Swallow being taken off the list, so does that mean "bye bye" soon to Glossy Ibis for the south review list and "bye bye" to Kirtland's Warbler on the south review list....though Kirtland's IS a mega rare species on a whole.
The third is that colour morphs are not to be reviewed....makes sense.
Pyrrhuloxia was also added to the Ontario List. I saw this bird in 2004 and I remember the argument that the bird came in on a cactus truck. Glad to see it on the list now.
"Oregon" Junco is now on the review list. Does that mean I should write an OBRC report for the one I had last winter, or does that new rule come into effect now? (2012)
Smew is under scrutiny now it seems due to the fact that it is difficult to determine if it is a wandering Smew or a pet Smew. I hear Smew is a popular bird to collect and the Smew seen late last year was not accepted. There are 2 other Smew that have been previously accepted, but if the 2011 Smew isn't accepted will the other 2 Smew be taken off the list as well?
One change I would love to see is the regions. Right now it is North and it is South. I have been wondering for years and years why it is set up this way? Maybe it is because I live here in the extreme south where Bohemian Waxwing, Boreal Chickadee, and heck, even Barred Owl would warrant a rare bird report, but they don't. According to the OBRC (or OFO?)"south" is up to North Bay... NORTH BAY!? That's a huge area with different life zones. Not to mention Northern Ontario is enormous! I wonder if a different system could ever be set up? Right now it's like when you buy a road map, on one side North Bay is at the top and when you flip it over, North Bay is on the bottom. There is your north and your south...I guess...
The current set up to me has a few flaws, but I guess it's set in stone.
Speaking of OFO, the Niagara River Gull watch is coming up December 2nd. If you are going, I'll see you there :)