Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Brogie, "Species for Which the NOU Records Committee Seeks Documentation," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 2004) 72(2).


Copyright 2004, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


The NOU Records Committee has revised the list of accidental or casual species for which the committee seeks documentation as of the end of 2003. This list was last published in 1995 (NBR 63:12-13). The committee seeks documentation on all species with less than regular occurrence in Nebraska, as well as any species occurring out of range or out of season. Changes in this list since 1995 include the addition of new species documented for the state, and the deletion of species upgraded to regular status. Below are listed the species of less than regular occurrence based on the Official List of the Birds of Nebraska. A revised Official List will be published in a future issue of the NBR.

Photographs, slides and recordings are the preferred means of documentation whenever possible; however, written documentations are often the only available means to document a species. A well-written documentation is extremely valuable and should include a detailed description of all aspects of the observation as follows: description of plumage, flesh parts, eye color, size (relative to a species observed at the same time can be very useful), and any noticeable field marks (i.e., wing bars, eye rings, crown stripes, tail markings, etc.). Extraneous observations can often be useful. For example, worn tail feathers or a leg band might indicate that the bird is an escaped captive bird rather than a wild bird. A written description can never have too much detail, but it can easily leave out critical details, which may be important in evaluating the documentation. A very useful part of a written documentation is a discussion of the field marks used to separate the bird from similar species. Descriptions of the bird's behavior and the habitat are also very important parts of a well-written documentation.