Bird Records Committee
The New Mexico Bird Records Committee (NMBRC), sponsored by NMOS, was established to evaluate and archive records of unusual bird species that occur in New Mexico. Formation of the NMBRC was initiated in 1992, formalized in 1993, and commenced operations in 1994. The Committee currently consists of a Secretary and six additional members.
The NMBRC was established with six broad purposes or objectives in mind. These are: (1) to solicit and maintain documentation of records of birds from New Mexico; (2) to evaluate and validate such records; (3) to publish data on records decisions; (4) to provide a means by which sight records can gain acceptance as valuable scientific data by establishing standards of observation and reporting; (5) to increase knowledge of the birds of New Mexico; and (6) to keep or cause to keep the official New Mexico State List of accepted bird species.
The Committee maintains a Review List of bird species for which it requests documentation of New Mexico records. In addition, the Committee requests documentation of all New Mexico records of species not currently on the official State List and, hence, potentially new to the state. Review List species are those species that are on the official State List but, in general, have been recorded on average four or fewer times per year over the previous ten-year period. Included are certain species that pose significant identification problems. Also included are certain very locally-distributed species that may be encountered away from their known ranges. The NMBRC provides a standardized Rare/Unusual Bird Report Form – PDF Version and Word Version - which is intended as an aid in writing reports.
The Editor(s) of North American Birds and NMOS Field Notes may require some level of documentation on additional scarce or difficult to identify species, as well as for commoner species when found away from their normal ranges or out of season.
Concerning the official State List, the Committee has decided that, for a species to be fully accepted on the list of New Mexico birds, it must have at least one record supported by either (1) a specimen, identified by a recognized authority, with convincing evidence that the specimen was obtained within New Mexico, or (2) one or more photographs or voice recordings that demonstrate definitive characters, with convincing evidence that the photo or tape was obtained in New Mexico. In addition, the record must be reviewed and accepted by the NMBRC.
Rare/Unusual Bird Report Form