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: IORC News 2015  ( 4879 )

Geoffrey A. Williamson

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IORC News 2015
« : March 24, 2015, 11:49:00 AM »
This is an update on recent news and activities of the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee (IORC). As I believe it likely to be the case that some of you are unfamiliar with IORC, I will start with an overview of the committee and a little of its history, and then get to its current membership and recent decisions on bird records.

IORC is a standing committee of the Illinois Ornithological Society (IOS - http://www.illinoisbirds.org) whose major purposes are to
  • evaluate evidence of records of rare occurrences of birds in the state;
  • maintain permanently the original bird records;
  • maintain the official Illinois State List of Birds.

Part and parcel to these purposes is the evaluation of documentary evidence submitted to IORC as to whether that evidence (specimens, photographs, video, audio recordings, written descriptions, etc.) is sufficient to conclude the identification to type of bird (and that it occurred naturally and in Illinois). Records are either "accepted" if the committee feels the evidence is indeed sufficient, or "unaccepted" if not. In either case, the evidence and its evaluation are archived for examination and use by future students of Illinois's bird life, and in some cases by the committee itself in reassessing an earlier decision.

The typical case is that of a birder observing a species on IORC's "Review List" and then submitting documentation of their sighting to IORC. The Review List is a list of species for which IORC requests such documentation. The Review List, documentation forms (both written and electronic), and information about IORC can be found on IORC's web page (http://www.illinoisbirds.org/illinois-ornithological-records-committee/).

IORC's formation dates back to 1985, when a Steering Committee of the Illinois Audubon Society set about defining IORC's formal structure and procedures. You might recognize some of the members of this steering committee: H. David Bohlen, Joel Greenberg, David B. Johnson, Dennis Jones, Vernon M. Kleen, Richard Palmer, and John C. Robinson (secretary). The first officially elected IORC was constituted in fall of 1986 and held its first meeting on 1 Feb 1987. These inaugural elected members were Richard Biss, H. David Bohlen, Ronald E. Goetz (secretary), Vernon M. Kleen, Joesph B. Milosevich, Richard Palmer, and Sue Stroyls. From 1985 to today, IORC has evaluated about 1900 bird records.

As at its inception, IORC today operates with seven individuals: six members who serve staggered three year terms, and a secretary who is elected annually by the members. The 2015 makeup of IORC is Josh Engel, Dan Kassebaum, Greg Lambeth (vice-secretary), Keith McMullen, Doug Stotz, Paul Sweet, and Geoff Williamson (secretary). Here are six of the seven members at the recent IORC meeting on 18 Jan 2015 at the Field Museum of Natural History (near side of table: Greg Lambeth; far side of table, left to right, Josh Engel, Doug Stotz, Paul Sweet, Keith McMullen, Dan Kassebaum).



One of the benefits for IORC of meeting at the Field Museum is ready access to the musuem's collection. Here some of the committee members (left to right: Doug Stotz, Paul Sweet, Dan Kassebaum, Greg Lambeth) at a tray of skins of Pacific-slope, Cordilleran, and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, including a specimen that is sure to become the state's first accepted record of "Western Flycatcher" (the complex that includes both Pacific-slope and Cordilleran), if not decided at the species level, once IORC deliberations are concluded.



Finally, here are some recent IORC decisions on records. Our intention is to report periodically to the Illinois birding community, unofficially via this medium, our recent decisions. The official reports of IORC are published annually in the IOS journal Meadowlark.

Accepted Records
  • Eurasian Wigeon, Banner Marsh, Fulton County, 4-12 Apr 2014
  • Barrow's Goldeneye, West Dundee, Kane County, 15-30 Mar 2014
  • Barrow's Goldeneye, Independence Grove Forest Preserve, Lake County, 23 Mar 2014
  • Neotropic Cormorant, Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 8 Sep 2012
  • Black Vulture (4), near Lake Springfield, Sangamon County, 21 Mar 2014
  • Black Vulture, Urbana, Champaign County, 7 May 2014
  • Snowy Plover, Emiquon Preserve, Fulton County, 6-7 Apr 2014
  • Little Gull, Dresden Cooling Pond, Grundy County, 26 Mar 2014
  • California Gull, Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 29 Sep 2012
  • California Gull, Rend Lake, Franklin County and Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 15 Dec 2013 - 19 Jan 2014
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, Lincoln Land Community College, Sangamon County, 29-30 Sep 2014
  • Western Kingbird X Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, American Bottoms, Monroe County, 1 Jul 2014
  • Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve, Kane County, 12 May 2014
  • Bewick's Wren, Brown County, 28 May 2014
  • Sage Thrasher, Putnam County, 18 Dec 2014 - 3 Jan 2015
  • Bohemian Waxwing, Chicago Botanic Garden, Cook County, 6-9 Nov 2012
  • Bohemian Waxwing, Chicago Botanic Garden, Cook County, 22-27 Dec 2012
  • Townsend's Warbler, Ewing Park, Bloomington, McLean County, 3 May 2014
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow, Wayne County, 19 Oct 2012
  • Western Tanager, Palos Heights, Cook County, 28 Apr - 5 May 2014
  • Painted Bunting (2), East St. Louis, St. Clair County, 16-20 June 2011
« : March 24, 2015, 01:10:38 PM Geoffrey A. Williamson »
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois

Joshua Little

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #1 : March 24, 2015, 12:17:25 PM »
Huh, a Western Tanager that stayed over a week would have been nice to know about.

Thanks for the report!

Geoffrey A. Williamson

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #2 : March 24, 2015, 12:20:11 PM »
The tanager was coming to a bird feeder for about a week.  News reached the broader birding community only after the bird was gone.  It happens some time!
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois

Steve Huggins

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #3 : March 24, 2015, 12:30:08 PM »
So still no decision on the Chicago Elaenia then Geoff - what is the current committee thinking on this record?

Geoffrey A. Williamson

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #4 : March 24, 2015, 12:43:48 PM »
The decision regarding the elaenia remains at present as acceptance as Small-billed/White-crested Elaenia.  Should a decision at the species level be to accept as Small-billed Elaenia, this would be a first continental record so that we are proceeding "deliberately."  We recognize there is a lot of interest in this, but we are still gathering formal external input, communicated directly to IORC.
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois

Fran Morel

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #5 : March 24, 2015, 01:32:26 PM »
This is great, Geoff.  Thanks for the updates.  Just curious, were any records not accepted and what's the communication protocol on those?

suefriscia

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #6 : March 24, 2015, 01:53:10 PM »
The tanager was at a feeder that butted up to the forest preserves, the owner didn't want anyone to come into the gated community but we could have seen it from the preserves. I heard about it on Sunday and searched without knowing exactly where and it was, it last seen on Monday, it only I knew where the feeder was before it left. so close yet so far.

;-(
Sue Friscia

Michael Retter

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #7 : March 24, 2015, 04:27:00 PM »
Great job, IORC. Three cheers for transparency!
Michael Retter
Fort Worth, TX
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Keith A. McMullen

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #8 : March 25, 2015, 07:27:55 PM »
Thanks for sharing, Geoff. Good stuff. Photos aren't bad either, except I look like I might have been napping. I promise, I wasn't!  :) :)

I might have been checking IBET for updates on the Kane County BARROW'S GOLDENEYE which little did I know would reappear a couple weeks later (thanks Eric!) and another bird would grace Carlyle Lake, just this past weekend and is still there today!!!!

Good birdings,

Keith

Josh Engel

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #9 : March 26, 2015, 08:41:36 AM »
Here are photos of the Western Tanager in Palos Heights by Carl Peter England (posted with permission).

Geoffrey A. Williamson

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Re: IORC News 2015 -- 2nd Installment
« #10 : April 14, 2015, 08:37:12 PM »
This is the 2nd installment for 2015 on news and activities of the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee (IORC).

IORC is a standing committee of the Illinois Ornithological Society (IOS - http://www.illinoisbirds.org) whose major purposes are to

  • evaluate evidence of records of rare occurrences of birds in the state;
  • maintain permanently the original bird records;
  • maintain the official Illinois State List of Birds.

Information about IORC can be found on IORC's web page (http://www.illinoisbirds.org/illinois-ornithological-records-committee/).

Below I will be reporting recent decisions on records submitted to the committee.

But before getting to the records, allow me to commend Paul Sweet for his service as IORC secretary during the period covering 2013 and 2014. Paul's keen knowledge of bird identification and distribution served him well as he steered the functioning of the Committee. Simultaneously he was contributing time and effort to other volunteer activities in service of birds and birding, including additional responsibilities for IOS, while also managing the myriad duties of his professional life. This makes his service as IORC secretary all the more commendable. We are happy to have him continue as a member of the Committee. Please join me in expressing appreciation to Paul for the work he's put into this for the last couple of years.

I also want to mention that IORC has undertaken an effort to assess the contents of its archives with the intention of putting most of it into electronic form. A first emphasis will be to address the photographic evidence contained in the archives. A subcommittee of IORC consisting of Greg Lambeth (chair), Josh Engel, and Doug Stotz is spearheading the effort. The subcommittee is also charged with recommending policy for archive content and management, including accessibility to the archives by the public.

Now for the records.



Records Accepted:

  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (9), Yorkville, Kendall County, 21-30 May 2014
  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Lincoln Park in Chicago, Cook County, 21 Jun 2014
  • Cinnamon Teal, Spillway Marsh at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Madison County, 8-9 Apr 2014
  • Harlequin Duck, Fox River in Elgin, Kane County, 9 Nov 2014 - 31 Jan 2015
  • Barrow's Goldeneye, Kane County, 17 Jan - 28 Feb 2015
  • Neotropic Cormorant, Lake Springfield, Sangamon County, 12-23 Jun 2013
  • Neotropic Cormorant, Lake Springfield, Sangamon County, 19-29 Jul 2013
  • Tricolored Heron, Oakwood Bottoms, Jackson County, 27 May 2014
  • Roseate Spoonbill, Lake Springfield, Sangamon County, 29 Nov 2013
  • Swainson's Hawk, Greene Valley Forest Preserve, DuPage County, 14 Oct 2013
  • Little Gull, Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 3 Nov 2013
  • Little Gull (2), Carlyle, Clinton County, 8-11 Nov 2013
  • California Gull, Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 27 Sep - 26 Oct 2014
  • Prairie Falcon, eastern LaSalle County, 14 Mar 2014
  • Prairie Falcon, Judson University, Kane County, 5 Oct 2014
  • Prairie Falcon (2), Coles County, 25 Oct 2014 - 8 Feb 2015
  • Mountain Bluebird, Lost Mound unit of Upper Mississippi River NWR, Jo Daviess County, 12 Dec 2012 - 23 Feb 2013
  • Curve-billed Thrasher, Montrose Point in Chicago, Cook County, 18 Jun - 1 Jul 2014
  • Bohemian Waxwing, Jackson Park in Chicago, Cook County, 15 Feb - 2 Mar 2015
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler, Judson University, Kane County, 5-6 May 2014
  • Cassin's Sparrow, Chicago, Cook County, 8 Sep 2014
  • Lark Bunting, Montrose Point in Chicago, Cook County, 17 Oct 2014
  • Hoary Redpoll (2), William Powers Conservation Area in Chicago, Cook County, 6 Feb - 13 Mar 2015



Records Not Accepted:

  • Swainson's Warbler, Franklin Creek State Park, Lee County, 3 May 2014


« : June 14, 2015, 06:37:14 PM Geoffrey A. Williamson »
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois

Geoffrey A. Williamson

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Re: IORC News 2015 -- 3rd installment
« #11 : June 14, 2015, 06:26:28 PM »
This is an update on recent actions of the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee (IORC). IORC is a standing committee of the Illinois Ornithological Society (IOS - http://www.illinoisbirds.org) whose major purposes are to

  • evaluate evidence of records of rare occurrences of birds in the state;
  • maintain permanently the original bird records;
  • maintain the official Illinois State List of Birds.

The Review List of species for which IORC requests documentation of sightings, documentation forms (both written and electronic), and information about IORC can be found on IORC's web page (http://www.illinoisbirds.org/illinois-ornithological-records-committee/).


Below are some recent IORC decisions on records. Our intention is to report periodically to the Illinois birding community, unofficially via this medium, our recent decisions. The official reports of IORC are published annually in the IOS journal Meadowlark.

These records are listed as "accepted" or "unaccepted."  In a round of voting (or "circulation") for a record, if six or seven of IORC's seven voting members vote to accept, the record is accepted.  If three or fewer members vote to accept, the record is considered unaccepted.  When four or five vote to accept, the record is re-circulated for another round of votes.

For accepted records, the names of individuals who submitted documentation to IORC are provided in square brackets.


Accepted Records:

  • Mottled Duck (2), Montrose Point, Chicago, Cook County, 30 May 2013 [Luis Muñoz]
  • Mottled Duck, Chautauqua NWR, Mason County, 29 Aug 2014 [Andrew Aldrich]
  • Neotropic Cormorant, Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 13 Apr 2013 [Dan Kassebaum]
  • Glossy Ibis, Woodford County, 24 May 2013 [Ted Hartzler]
  • Black Vulture, Ft Sheridan FP, Lake County, 19 Oct 2014 [Adam Sell]
  • Black Rail, Shelby County, 14 Jul 2013 [Travis Mahan]
  • Pomarine Jaeger, Weldon Springs SP, DeWitt County, 22-23 Nov 2014 [Ron Bradley, Dan Williams]
  • California Gull (immature), Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 6 Oct & 3 Nov 2013 [Dan Kassebaum]
  • Slaty-backed Gull, Illinois River at East Peoria, Peoria and Tazewell Counties, 11 Jan 2015 [Jim Mountjoy]
  • Slaty-backed Gull, Calumet Park, Chicago, Cook County, 7 Feb 2015 [Geoff Williamson]
  • Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher, Chicago, Cook County, 11 Sep 2010 [Matt Baughman]
  • Townsend's Solitaire, Lost Mount Unit of Upper Mississippi River NWR, Jo Daviess County, 19 Dec 2014 [Dan Williams]
  • Bullock's Oriole, near Joppa, Massac County, 21 Nov 2014 [John Schwegman]

Unaccepted Records:

  • Mexican Duck, Carlyle Lake, Clinton County, 23 Mar 2014
  • Eared Grebe, Lake Renwick, Will County, 4 May 2013
  • Reddish Egret, Crab Orchard NWR, Williamson County, 29 Jun 2013
  • Whooping Crane (2), near Ullin, Alexander and Pulaski County, 16 & 23 Nov 2013
  • Sprague's Pipit, Bureau County, 5 May 2014
  • Sprague's Pipit, Winthrop Harbor, Lake County, 27 Jul 2014


IORC thanks all the documenters, for accepted and unaccepted records alike, for their submissions. All documentation is maintained in the IORC archives so that there is a permanent record of all these observations.

--
Geoff Williamson
IORC Secretary
« : September 01, 2015, 05:38:39 AM Geoffrey A. Williamson »
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois

Matthew Cvetas

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #12 : June 14, 2015, 07:16:19 PM »
Awesome Geoff. Thanks!

Was the "Western" Flycatcher the Field Museum specimen?
Did the observer photograph the Bullock's Oriole?
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Geoffrey A. Williamson

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #13 : June 14, 2015, 07:58:51 PM »
Yes, the Western Flycatcher was the window kill here in Chicago with the specimen in the Field Museum.  See Josh Engel's blog post (http://www.fieldmuseum.org/blog/first-illinois-discovered-field-museums-collection) for more info on that one.

The Bullock's Oriole was a bird coming to a feeder.  There are four photographs (nice, frame-filling ones) associated with this record.
Geoff Williamson
Chicago (Cook County), Illinois

Amar Ayyash

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Re: IORC News 2015
« #14 : June 14, 2015, 08:15:59 PM »
I think much praise is in order here, to IORC, and especially Geoff, for the updates on recent records. Good stuff. Thanks!
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