2007 Annual Meeting
The 2007 annual meeting of the Texas Bird Records Committee (hereafter committee or TBRC) was held at the Hornsby Bend Environmental Center, Austin, Texas, on Saturday, 21 July 2007. In attendance were:
• Randy Pinkston, Chair
• Mark Lockwood, Secretary
• Keith Arnold, Academician
• Jim Paton
• Brad McKinney
• Eric Carpenter
• Ron Weeks
• Mel Cooksey
TBRC member Willie Sekula was unable to attend the meeting. The meeting was convened at 9:05 AM.
Election of Members
Mel Cooksey's 2nd, Eric Carpenter's and Willie Sekula’s 1st terms expired at the end of the annual meeting in 2007. This left three vacancies to be filled. Carpenter and Sekula were confirmed for their second terms and Lee was elected as a new voting member. Lockwood and Arnold were nominated for the positions of Secretary and Academician and re-elected.
Current membership and term of service are as follows:
• Randy Pinkston, Chair - term expires fall 2008; can be re-elected
• Mark Lockwood, Secretary - term is as listed for Chair; can be re-elected
• Keith Arnold, Academician - term is as listed for Chair; can be re-elected
• Jim Paton - 2nd term expires fall 2008
• Brad McKinney - 2nd term expires fall 2009
• Willie Sekula - 2nd term expires fall 2010
• Eric Carpenter - 2nd term expires fall 2010
• Ron Weeks - 1st term expires fall 2009, can be re-elected
• Cin-Ty Lee - 1st term expires fall 2010, can be re-elected
Regular Agenda Items
Fourth Round Records
1. 2006-92 Green Violet-ear
Travis Co., 3-4 July 2006
Revision of Mailing Sequence
New mailing sequence is as follows:
Review Species Specimen Located
A Fork-tailed Flycatcher specimen collected prior to 1988 was discovered during 2007. The existence of the specimen was brought to the attention of the Committee by Bill Whan of Ohio State University. Lockwood (Arnold: second) moved that the committee accept the specimen as a state record. The motion passed unanimously.
Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Texas (unknown location), 10 Sept 1879 - housed at Ohio State Univ.
Review and Revision of By-laws
The bylaws of the TBRC were reviewed. Because of the increasing costs of travel there was a desire to change the by-laws to allow for an annual meeting other than a physical meeting, and the following change was made:
- ANNUAL MEETING. An Annual Meeting of the Committee shall be held once a year for the purpose of election and for transacting such other business as may be brought before the meeting. Whether an actual physical meeting will be held will be determined by the Chairman and Secretary, in consultation with the Members, based on the business before the Committee. When appropriate, a proxy meeting may be held via email, Internet conferencing, or by conference call. The Secretary must give to all Voting Members prior notice of the Annual Meeting, together with an agenda and a list of nominees for Members.
Another change to the by-laws was to define the Presumptive List and insert that definition under Section VI Bird Records, part B, number 3.
The Presumptive List includes a list of species for which written descriptions of sight records have been accepted by the Committee but the species has not yet met the requirements for full acceptance on the Texas List (verifiable specimen, photo, or tape recording for at least one record). These may include records with photographs or specimens where the physical documentation can not be clearly assigned to a specific species (i.e. can only be assigned to genus).
No committee member suggested additional changes to the bylaws and the amended by-laws were accepted.
Motion to Add Brown Jay to the list of Review Species
John Arvin had contacted the Secretary to request that the committee consider adding Brown Jay to the list of Review Species. Lockwood asked the committee to consider the request. Discussion of the issue centered on the clear decline of the species in Texas since the 1980s when the population included at least 100 individuals, to the current number of 3. At the time of the meeting, these birds had not been reported in over a month. This motion was seconded by Cooksey and passed 8-0.
Motion to Remove Little Gull from the list of Review Species
Pinkston asked the committee to consider removing Little Gull from the Review List. Discussion ensued of the number of current records and if there was a good understanding of the occurrence of the species in Texas. Although most of the committee agreed that a pattern of occurrence appeared to be established, the relative rarity of the species in the state was unmistakable. Carpenter pointed out that multiple records may be attributable to one or two individuals moving from lake to lake creating a perception that more birds are involved. The species is below the criterion for removal (four records per year for ten years). Pinkston moved to remove Little Gull from the Review List, but the motion failed to get a second.
Discussion of the status of Green Violet-ear in Texas
The committee discussed the regular occurrence of Green Violet-ear and the pattern of the records, both spatially and temporally. The fact that the majority of records from the United States are from Texas and therefore that the TBRC is the primary depository of data concerning the species was discussed. The increase in records in the past five to six years was at least partially attributed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Hummingbird Round-Up and the dissemination of information about rare species. No motion was made to remove the species from the Review List.
Discussion of potential for re-circulation of records that had previously not been accepted under genus only
Weeks asked the committee what the procedure would be for the re-circulation of a record under genus only that had previously not been accepted with specific species designation. The discussion centered on the species groups where this is an issue, and the utility of such records. An example was immediately apparent: Myiodynastes flycatchers (Sulphur-bellied vs. Streaked). The consensus of the committee was that a member would need to contact the Secretary to request such a re-circulation.
Discussion of criteria for first state records and the Presumptive List
The TBRC by-laws state that all species on the state list must be represented by:
(i) an extant specimen identified by a recognized authority together with convincing evidence that the specimen was obtained within the state of Texas or adjacent ocean, or (ii) one or more photographs or tape recordings that clearly demonstrate definitive characters in order to be accepted to the official state list.
Weeks asked the committee if in a case where a potential first state record the photographic evidence was not conclusive and thus the record was not accepted, but the written documentation was compelling, could the record be considered for the Presumptive List. The practical application of this question as it applies to Vaux's Swift and Pacific-slope Flycatcher records was discussed. The decision of the committee was that such a record was eligible for a re-circulation vote to add the species to the Presumptive List.
With no other formal business on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned at 11:25 AM.
Mark W. Lockwood
Secretary, Texas Bird Records Committee