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Re: Pacific-slope Flycatcher nay-sayers

On Thu, 27 Jan 2000 09:32:41 -0500 Harry LeGrand said:
>                   People should still check off Pacific-slope on their
>checklists, but it looks as though "there is no way to be 100% that a
>bird giving P-s calls is really a P-s" (according to some).

I was going to let this sleeping dog lie, but since the issue's been
raised, who can "check off" this bird?  According to the official ABA
listing rules <http://www.americanbirding.org/reslistru2.htm>,  to
be counted the bird must be "identified by the lister".   The official
interpretation of this rule is that "By the lister means that the lister
himself/herself must discern and recognize the distinguishing
characteristics either visually or audibly. The lister's identification
is not valid if it is based on characteristics seen, heard, or
recognized by another person but not by the lister, or if the lister
does not recognize the characteristics seen or heard as being uniquely
distinctive to the particular species."  I assume that anyone who got
a good look at this bird is satisfied that they recognized the distinguishing
characteristics of a "Western" Flycatcher, but those of us who only saw
but did not hear it are relying on "characteristics seen, heard, or
recognized by another person" to narrow it down to Pacific-slope.

I should add that I don't feel particularly bound by the ABA rules :-)

Kent Fiala
Raleigh NC