The Maine Bird Records Committee (ME-BRC) has published its decisions from January 2009 through December 2013 in the most recent issue of the journal "Bird Observer" (February 2015, volume 43, number 1). The editor, Marsha Salett, and production editor, Peter Oehlkers, were a huge help with this report and have given permission to make reprints (PDFs) of our reports available on our web site. Thank you Marsha and Peter!
Bird Observer is a premier resource for birders to learn about and report on New England's birdlife. I encourage everyone interested to consider subscribing. Information is available at the journal's website: http://www.birdobserver.org
What's in the Report?
The ME-BRC accepted records of 14 species new to the state list from 2009 through 2013. To find out what those species were or to enjoy them again if you saw one of them, please read the report here:
What's in the works?
The committee currently is reviewing records of three species that would be new to the state: Trindade Petrel, Rock Wren, and Brewer's Sparrow. A sight record from 1998 of Audubon's Shearwater remains in review, with new input received last year. The species pair "Little"/Audubon's Shearwater has been on the state's hypothetical list based on a 1971 report (see the committee's 3rd Report at link above; Little Shearwater has since been reclassified, the only accepted taxon for North America now being called Barolo Shearwater).
In other news, 2014 saw the departure of Kristen Lindquist and Jeff Wells as members. Thanks to both for all their work. Coming onto the committee last year were Lysle Brinker and Will Russell, both of whom bring a wealth of expertise and experience birding in Maine.
I came on the committee in late 2012, was elected chair, and served in that role for two years. I passed the baton to Trevor Persons at our annual meeting last December. Doug Hitchcox continues as secretary.
outgoing Chair of the Maine Bird Records Committee
Listed here are nine recently accepted records from 2012. The Slaty-backed Gull at Hatch Hill in Augusta is a first state record. That brings the total number of species recorded in Maine to 444. The Chestnut-collared Longspur is a 2nd state record but the first with photographic documentation and the first of this species to be reviewed by the committee. A specimen taken in 1886 was examined by reliable ornithologists, including William Brewster and Arthur Norton, but the specimen's whereabouts (and existence) are unknown at this time.
Clicking on highlighted text below will take you to photos and/or notes that formed part of the committee's review. The name or names of the finders are listed first and separated by a semicolon from other observers.
Thanks to all who contributed, kept notes, or took photographs of these rare birds. Enjoy!
Chair, Maine Bird Records Committee
Eared Grebe, 16 Sep to 7 Oct 2012, Middle Bay, Brunswick, Cumberland Co. -- seen from Simpson's Landing, this bird was never close; rare but almost annual now
American White Pelican, 14 Oct 2012, Maquoit Bay, Brunswick, Cumberland Co. -- stayed only a few hours, which is typical for this species in Maine
American White Pelican, 3-5 November 2012, Newport, Penobscot Co. -- Linda Powell found what was one of the few multi-day White Pelicans for Maine
American White Pelican, 20 May 2012, Kennebec River at Farmingdale, Kennebec Co. -- these two birds had large, rounded keels on the tops of their bills; amazing!
Northern Lapwing, 3 Nov 2012, Berwick, York Co. -- part of an invasion into the Northeast, this bird stayed only an hour or so; congratulations Andy and Ken!
Slaty-backed Gull, 10-13 January 2012, Augusta, Kennebec Co. -- 1st state record, although anticipated given recent occurrences to the Northeast
Sooty Tern, 14 July 2012, Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, York Co. -- this is an unusual non-storm related find of this tropical tern in Maine
Chestnut-collared Longspur, 22-28 June 2012, Biddeford, York Co. -- a 2nd state record; 1st photographed (story here)
Bullock's Oriole, 4 November 2012, Brunswick, Cumberland Co. -- a stunning male stayed only minutes but was photographed
The newly constituted committee as of fall 2012 elected both secretary and chair by vote in October.
The committee elected Bill Sheehan, whose term as a voting member had ended, as Secretary, replacing Chris Bartlett. Bill has been secretary in the past.
Jonathan Mays, the former Chair, moved to Florida and resigned the committee during summer of 2012. Peter Vickery assumed the position of temporary Chair until the fall of 2012. After open nominations and vote, Louis Bevier became the new Chair of the committee by unanimous vote.
On behalf of the committee, I want to express deep gratitude for Peter Vickery's hard work from 2005 until 2012. Also a stalwart of the committee over that time was Dennis Abbott of Stratham, New Hampshire. Denny is as much a Maine birder as anyone; so his place on the Maine committee was valuable. Denny also serves on the New Hampshire committee. Thanks Denny and Peter!
Chair, Maine Bird Records Committee
The Maine Bird Records Committee just completed an election to replace four departing members.
On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM, Chris Bartlett wrote:
I am pleased to announce the appointments of Eric Hynes, Rob Lambert,
The Maine Bird Records Committee just received a report of a Townsend's Solitaire. However, the image clearly shows a Mountain Bluebird, a first Maine occurrence. This bluebird was seen on the summit of East Royce Mountain near Evan's Notch, South Oxford, Maine on 13 Nov 2011 (Oxford County, Batchelders Grant TWP, Delorme Map 10, C1). The bluebird was feeding on Mountain Ash berries.
Regrettably, this report is over two weeks old but with the unseasonably warm weather there's always the possibility the bird could still be around. For anyone venturing a chase, keep an eye out for berry patches and please report success or lack thereof.
On behalf of the Maine Bird Records Committee, I would like to give a warm welcome to our newest members, Davis Finch, Jonathan Mays, and Michael Smith. Their three-year terms started on October 1st and we're about to begin a fresh round of reviews with their assistance. I would also like to thank our outgoing members, Jody Despres, Scott Hall, and Don Mairs for graciously volunteering their time over the past six years. They reached their term limits at the beginning of the month and we'll certainly miss their involvement on the committee.
The Maine Bird Records Committee has reviewed 15 records since January, 2010 and I've included an overview of this work for your interest. Additional information about the committee can be seen on our website at http://sites.google.com/site/mainebirdrecordscommittee/reports.
We welcome your suggestions for ways to strengthen our ability to document the occurrence of bird species in Maine.
On Jan 1, 2010, Chris Bartlett was named the new Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee by Chairman Peter Vickery.
Vickery said, "I'm very pleased to announce that Chris Bartlett has recently agreed to be the Secretary for the Maine Bird Records Committee. After 3+ years at the helm, Bill Sheehan has stepped down and passed the rudder to Chris.
Bill has done a wonderful job in helping to get ME-BRC under way and sailing smoothly.
Chris and his family live in Eastport where Chris is an extension agent for the University. He's very knowledgeable about and widely respected for his understanding of fisheries issues and has been birding Eastport for some time, having found a dizzying number of Little Gulls this fall, 20 + if memory serves me.
If anyone wants to submit a record or inquiry to ME-BRC, please direct them to Chris at: cbartlett at maine.edu.
30 Jan 2009, The Maine Bird Records Committee introduces the new website.
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