NB Bird Records Committee / Comité des mentions d'oiseaux du NB

Voting on Records

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Records Treated

Only records of birds from the Province of New Brunswick and adjacent waters that are closer to New Brunswick than to other provinces or states will be treated. The species to be voted on will be determined from time to time by the Committee. In general, only species with nine or fewer acceptable reports in the province in the past fifty years will be considered.

Only records documented by two or more observers or supported by tangible evidence (photos, specimens, etc.) will be eligible for acceptance by the Committee.

Any record, whether published or not, old or new, may be submitted by anyone, whether or not an observer, if he/she has first attempted to obtain details from the observer(s).

A record for which the Committee has already reached a decision, whether accepted or not, may be resubmitted if there becomes available new and substantial documentary evidence that might reverse the decision. For a record rejected because of questionable origin, such evidence might include the recognition of a natural pattern of occurrence.

Voting Process

Objective: The objective of record circulation and voting is to achieve consensus either to accept or not to accept each record reviewed.

Documentation of each record is reviewed at a meeting of the Committee, or provided via the Internet as electronic mail or a web page, or sent as a package from member to member.

First-round voting: Each voting member independently reviews the documentation, judges its validity and votes. Agreement of all Members or of any four Members is regarded as a decision.

Second-round voting: A record that does not receive a 4 to 1 or 4 to 0 vote will be circulated again for reconsideration, including with the documentation each member's vote and comments from the first round.

Third-round voting: A record that does not receive a 4 to 1 or 4 to 0 vote in the second round will be brought to an annual meeting of the Committee where, following discussion, the Committee will either:

  • a. table the record, pending receipt of additional opinions from outside experts before circulating again, or

  • b. vote on the record. A record will be accepted if it receives not more than one "not accept" vote from the Members present. Otherwise, it will be classed "not accepted."


(Note: Voting members may not abstain, but might miss a vote because of a prolonged absence. If they feel unqualified to make a decision on a record, they should vote to not accept it and in their comments record the reasons, such as unfamiliarity with the species, insufficient information available on separation of similar species, insufficient information available on patterns of vagrancy, etc., so that an effort can be made to overcome these shortcomings in a subsequent circulation.)

Five Voting Categories

Accept identification and natural occurrence:

  • The Member believes that the documentation provided establishes the identification of the bird(s) as the species or subspecies claimed, and there seems no reason to believe that it did not arrive in the province naturally during migration, range expansion, or occasional vagrancy, or it is part of an established introduced population.

Accept identification, natural occurrence questionable but a reasonable possibility:

  • Documentation establishes the identification, and the Member is uncertain of origin but believes that evidence suggests that natural occurrence is about as likely or more likely than is some kind of direct human assistance such as escape or release from captivity. Evidence might include neck or leg markers, the age of the bird(s), plumage condition, behaviour, associated species, season of the year, population expansion, usual distribution, migratory nature of the species, patterns of vagrancy, etc.

Not accept, identification questionable:

  • The Member believes that the documentation provided does not adequately support the identity of the bird(s) as the species or subspecies claimed. This does not necessarily mean that he or she feels a mistake was made.

Not accept, identification acceptable, natural occurrence unlikely:

  • Documentation establishes the identification, but the Member believes that the species' natural occurrence in the province is considerably less likely than is some kind of direct human assistance such as escape or release from captivity. Evidence might include neck or leg markers, the age of the bird(s), plumage condition, behaviour, season of the year, popularity as a captive bird, distance from the normal range, sedentary nature of the species, etc.

Not accept, establishment of introduced population questionable:

  • Documentation establishes the identification, but the Member believes that the bird is (birds are) from an introduced population that is not sufficiently large and successfully reproducing that its indefinite persistence by natural means may reasonably be predicted.


About the committee / Au sujet du comité

Documentation guidelines / Préparation d'une documentation efficace

Documentation form
HTML version
PDF and Microsoft Word formats

Formulaire de documentation
Version HTML
Dossiers pdf et Microsoft Word

12 March 2006