Added to the ABA checklist this year is the Nanday Conure. This is not a Nanday, but my Green Cheeked Conure named Mac.
I stopped getting Birding, the publication by the ABA this year mainly because it is filled with too many ads, there is a lot of fluff, and it is so American (not North American). I do however still subscribe to North American Birds because it is more scientific, and of course, it has North American records. So only today did I find out that the November issue of Birding published the updated ABA checklist with 5 new species, plus a split added. This brings the ABA list up to 976! I wonder if I will still be alive when it hits 1,000?
The species added are Providence Petrel, Double-toothed Kite, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Nanday Parakeet, Asian Rosy-Finch, while Xantus' Murrelet gets split into two species, Guadalupe and Scripps's murrelets.
Now this is where it gets interesting....for me. Back on April 11th, 2009 I was in Clearwater, Florida and saw a Nanday Parakeet. Other names for this species includes Nanday Conure and Black-hooded Parakeet (Nandayus nenday). At this point in time the Nanday was not on the ABA list but it was on the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee list for Florida (in 2004). It fell one vote short of becoming part of the ABA checklist in 2006. So I guess if I was playing by "the rules" I could count it on my Florida list, but not my ABA list.
This is where it gets interesting. The population in that area of Florida already met the requirements of an established exotic according to the ABA (see link below) which is why I'm sure the FOSRC added it to the Florida species list. However in 2006, the ABA's CLC (Checklist Committee) still rejected it (by 2 votes) because there were concerns that its range in the central gulf of Florida (around 150 square miles) may not be large enough to confirm establishment of this species. So in other words, the CLC twisted the rules a bit, and Nenday was put on the back burner until now when it is finally on the ABA list.
One question remains. Can I count it today, right now, as a lifer? Or do I have to go down to Florida to see one again? I think given the circumstances here I should be able to count it as it already met the ABA's established exotic species requirements to begin with years ago.