You are invited to submit reports for evaluation by the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee (FOSRC). Reports should be for two categories of species:
1. naturally occurring species that are new to Florida (do not occur on the Official State List) or
2. species known to occur in Florida that sufficiently rare or difficult to identify to warrant FOSRC evaluation. Species in this latter group are annotated with an asterisk in the Official State List of the Birds of Florida.
Species in either of these categories should be documented by the observer and the reports should be submitted to the FOSRC, including those intended for publication in the Florida Field Naturalist or any other publication.
While in the field, the observer should record a detailed description of all body parts (e.g., bill, legs, and feet, noting size, shape, and colors). Although a specimen or photograph or video and vocal recordings are preferred, a sketch of the bird and vocal descriptions are beneficial. Behavioral traits and the habitat should be described. It is necessary to indicate how all similar species were eliminated (e.g., similar members within a genus), not only those known or suspected to occur in Florida, but also any species that could possibly stray here or possibly escape from captivity. Further information on documenting field observations and preparing a report is available in an excellent manuscript, "How to Document Rare Birds," offered on the Louisiana Ornithological Society website.
All observations should be submitted to the FOSRC on the standard documentation form. In addition to uniformity, the documentation form provides the Committee and the observer with guidelines to those factors used by the FOSRC for its evaluation. Completed forms with supporting material should be submitted to the Secretary of the FOSRC:
Andy Kratter, Florida Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 11780, Gainesville, FL 32611
For North America, the model for determining the avifauna for an area was developed by the American Ornithologists' Union (now American Ornithological Society). The first Check-list of North American Birds was published in 1886 and the 7th and most current edition published in 1998, updated by supplements. Proposals are submitted to a committee and reviewed primarily for taxonomic changes, English name changes, and distribution, Most state and regional ornithological organizations and the American Birding Association use the AOS Check-list as the basis for their own lists.
“ Birds are our most conspicuous and most readily observed form of wildlife, and the search for species–whether new to you or old friends—is an absorbing pastime. Enjoyment of birds can be readily shaped to be valuable to science as well as delightful to you. ”