Birder's Guide

OCT 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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48 Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy | October 2017 2016 came with quite a bit of excitement—and a bit of drama—as four birders undertook ABA Big Year efforts. Christian Hagenlocher, Laura Ke- ene, Olaf Danielson, and John Weigel all made a suc- cessful run at Neal Hayward's 2013 ABA Area record of 749 species. In the newly minted (but same as always) ABA Conti- nental Area, Hagenlocher came in with 750 species (+2 provisionals), Keene with 759 species (+3 provisionals), Danielson with 776 (+2 provisionals), and Weigel with 780 (+3 provisionals). The provisionals are Cuban Vir- eo, Pine Flycatcher, and Common Shelduck. The ABA membership voted to include Hawaii within the ABA Area in October 2016. While the change was immediate upon a tally of the votes, updating the ABA Checklist to reflect the new area (by adding "Hawaii- only" species) takes some time. (See Peter Pyle's article on p. 28). Because of this, beginning in August 2016, all communication from the ABA (including the ABA Blog and the letter and proxy ballot mailed to members) stated that Hawaii was not in play for the purposes of 2016 ABA Area Big Years. Yet three of the four birders above made last-minute runs to the islands just in case. After the dust settled, toasts were clinked, and long, well-deserved rests were had, John Weigel wrote to the ABA Recording Standards and Ethics Committee (RSEC) asking that the species he and the others saw in Hawaii be allowed as provi- sionals (in the same way that new additions to the ABA Checklist via vagrancy would be handled). As we go to press, the RSEC has not yet released a determination. The new, expanded ABA Area and ABA Continental Area are available for input on Listing Central, even though the updated ABA Checklist with the added species has not yet been released. This is because the computer programmer who built the Listing Central software is spending the year abroad and was available to do the updates as of this summer. I thought it pru- dent to have the categories waiting for input once the updates were made. In the meantime, I suggest using The Birds of the Ha- waiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Sta- tus (http://bit.ly/29JTfjr) to approximate list totals that include Hawaii. Note, however, that a small number of the exotics accepted therein may not make it onto the ABA Checklist. Flying somewhat under the radar with all of the Big Year news in the air was Laura Keene's amazing ABA Continental-Photographed record in 2016. Laura photo- graphed 746 species last year, beating Paul Biddle's 2015 effort by 141 species. If we include audio recordings, Laura documented 751 species last year (plus an additional 51 in Hawaii). Outstanding! But it wasn't all about Big Years last year. A new Big Day record for Nevada was set by Paul Hurtado, David Kozlovsky, Rob Lowry, and Brian Steger. The team recorded 171 species, beating the May 1992 record of 162 species by L.A. Neel, G. Chisholm, K. Geluso, and B. Flores. Be sure to check out Listing Central at listing. aba.org for the latest version of the ABA Checklist as well as ABA Checklist Committee reports, ABA Recording Rules, the ABA Birding Code of Eth - ics, reports and updates from the Recording Stan- dards & Ethics Committee—and, of course—the complete life, year, month, and Big Day list totals from more than 2,000 ABA members. Greg Neise Berwyn, Illinois gneise@aba.org Listing Central Update From left, John Weigel, Christian Hagenlocher and Laura Keene celebrate their Big Year efforts. Photo by Greg Neise

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