Help Record Rare Birds in Colorado with the Colorado Birds Records Committee

The Colorado Bird Records Committee (CBRC) was started by Jack Reddall in 1972 and has been in existence for 50 years. The aim is to document rare birds that are found in the state of Colorado. This aim is a little different from eBird, which documents all species of birds submitted by observers whether they are rare or not. The review and oversight of records sent to the CBRC also differ from eBird in that the record is voted on by 7 of the 9 committee members, and a vote of 7-0 or 6-1 is required for the record to be accepted. A record can go through three rounds of voting. Frequently records provoke vigorous discussion among the committee members. I thank all the past and current CBRC members for their time and service to the CBRC (view all current members).

On the website, you can find a list of the species that the CBRC would like documentation of any observations of, as well as instructions on how to submit a report and the submittal form. The form is longer and asks more questions than submitting to eBird, but it is easy to add photographs or sound recordings at the end before the record is submitted. Each person submitting a record receives an email that the record has been received by the CBRC. This documentation is important for verifying the records and to help future ornithologists when there are questions about past observations in light of future insights, as there were with the split of Chihuahuan Meadowlark in 2022.

Past CBRC decisions on individual species are also available for view.  On the same page, you can download a checklist of the 519 species that have been documented in Colorado. The CBRC deliberations are summarized in Records Committee Reports that are published in Colorado Birds. Eighty-two reports have been published so far and you can read them all.  Near the bottom of the right-hand column of the reports page is an article by Tony Leukering on “Writing Bird Descriptions: Ruling Out Other Species“. It was written in 1994 but still applies today.

Peter Gent,  Boulder.
Chairman Colorado Bird Records Committee