The 2001 annual meeting of the Texas Bird Records Committee was held at the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, on Saturday 29 September 2001. In attendance were
TBRC member Barry Zimmer was unable to attend the meeting. The meeting was convened at 9:40 a.m.
Election of Members
Willie Sekula's 2nd term and Petra Hockey's 1st term expired in the fall of 2001, this left two vacancies to be filled at the meeting. There were three nominations for the two positions: Petra Hockey, Mel Cooksey, and Jim Paton. Arvin, Lockwood, and Arnold were again nominated for the positions of Chair, Secretary and Academician. The nominees were voted upon by secret ballot. Hockey and Cooksey were elected members. Arvin, Lockwood, and Arnold were re-elected to their former positions.
Current membership and term of service are as follows:
o John Arvin, Chair - term expires fall 2002; can be re-elected
Regular Agenda Items
Fourth Round Records
1. 1996-114 Allen's Hummingbird
2. 1996-118 Red-billed Tropicbird
3. 1997-148 Red-necked Grebe
4. 1997-166 Golden-crowned Warbler
5. 1997-172 Red-throated Loon
6. 1998-50 Common Ringed Plover
Revision of Mailing Sequence
New mailing sequence is as follows:
Status of Reintroduced Populations of Trumpeter Swans in the Midwest
Lockwood has been in communication with Natural Resources Department personnel in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The reintroduction programs in these states have been completed and are now considered successful. One of the results of these decisions is that Trumpeter Swans in these states will no longer be marked with leg bands or neck collars. The TBRC has previously not considered Trumpeter Swans determined to have originated from the Midwest as state records. The discussion centered on the fact that unmarked individuals from these populations may be found in Texas in the future and that determining their origin will no longer be possible. The TBRC is still interested in gathering data about the occurrence of Trumpeter Swans in Texas. As of 29 September 2001, all sightings of Trumpeter Swans will be considered for state records. There are currently only three accepted records of this species from the state.
Status of White-cheeked Pintail on Official State List
The committee examined the documentation available on file for the lone accepted record of White-cheeked Pintail in Texas. Whether this species should remain on the official state list was discussed in detail. There is no evidence that this individual was ever in captivity and its behavior suggested a wild bird. The committee also thought that Laguna Atascosa was an unlikely location for an escapee to be found, particularly in the late 1970s when this part of Texas had an even smaller population. After much discussion, the consensus of the committee was that the record should stand.
Identification criteria for adult male Allen's Hummingbirds
Lockwood has been in contact with hummingbird banders and other experienced observers seeking opinions about the identification of adult male Selasphorus hummingbirds that appear to be "textbook" Allen's. There are differing opinions as to the level of confidence one can have in these identifications. All of the experts agreed that the likelihood that these hummingbirds were Allen's was far greater than that they were totally green-backed Rufous Hummingbirds. The fundamental question is whether the probability of encountering a fully green-backed Rufous Hummingbird is so slight to be inconsequential or whether the fact that such individuals exist is enough to preclude an acceptable level of confidence in any identifications. After discussing the opposing views, the TBRC decided that the potential for gaining a better understanding of the occurrence of Allen's Hummingbirds in Texas by accepting photographic records of "textbook" males outweighed the concern over the possibility of accepting a full green-backed Rufous Hummingbird as an Allen's. The committee will still rely on hummingbird banders for documentation of non-adult male Allen's. Although all accepted records will be included in any listing of those records, those that include the diagnostic measurements of R2 and R5 will be so-designated.
TBRC Record 2000-53
TBRC record 2000-53 is an accepted record of Berylline Hummingbird from the Davis Mountains. The documentation provided to the committee was from 25 May 2000. A Berylline Hummingbird was observed at the same location on 6 June and 16 July 2000. Lockwood asked the committee to consider adding those two dates to the accepted record. Everyone agreed that the 6 June observation was very likely the same individual. There was some discussion about the potential for the 16 July observation to have been a different individual. Ultimately, it was decided that including all three dates was the best solution.
Review Species Specimens Located
C. D. Stutzenbaker donated his waterfowl specimen collection to the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection at Texas A&M University in the fall of 2001. Included in this collection were two American Black Duck specimens collected at Sheldon Reservoir, Harris County, on 30 December 1972. The specimens were examined by the committee and compared to Mottled Duck specimens from Texas and Florida. Arnold (Lockwood: second) moved that the committee accept the two specimens as state records. The motion passed unanimously.
(Attwater's) Greater Prairie-Chicken
The committee discussed the status of Greater Prairie-Chicken in Texas. The total population in the wild in the state is now estimated to be 46 individuals. The entire known population is found within two preserves, the Attwater's Prairie-Chicken NWR and the Nature Conservancy's Preserve in La Marque. The question was raised as to whether any "wild" (individuals not from the captive breeding program) still existed. The TBRC would encourage observers to provide documentation of any Greater Prairie-Chickens observed in Texas away from the two previously mentioned preserves. Any data collected by the TBRC will be shared with biologists working with this Endangered species.
TOS Checklist of the Birds of Texas
Lockwood and Freeman provided an update on the progress made on revising the Checklist of Texas Birds (TOS 1995). A first draft for review by the other members of the committee is expected to be distributed in January 2002.
Review List B species
Hockey pointed out that the TBRC is supposedly requesting documentation for species included under Review List B and suggested that this list be edited to contain only those species that such information is still desired. Lockwood agreed to provide a draft list of species that would continue to be included under this heading for consideration by the committee.
Details of Couch's Kingbird from Fort Worth
Lockwood received details and photos of an apparent Couch's Kingbird observed on September 2, 2001 in Tarrant County from Martin Reid. Lockwood read the details, including the described voice. Arvin and Sekula noted that the vocal description was consistent with Couch's Kingbird. The photos and details will be archived in the Texas Photo Record File, TPRF number to be issued by Arnold.
There being no other formal business on the agenda, the meeting
was adjourned at about 3:15 p.m.
Mark W. Lockwood
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