New York State Avian Records Committee

a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association


 UPDATED 10/23/17
NYSARC Review List

plus new review code PZ
for certain species seen outside the Pelagic Zone

NEW 10/29/17

from NYSARC:
Six new species
added to the NYS
checklist since 2012


Elegant Tern, photo by Angus Wilson Elegant Tern
Added to the
NYS checklist
photo by Angus Wilson

 NYSARC Reports

1977 - 2012
Just added: 2012

Grace's Warbler, photo by Lloyd Spitalnik
Grace's Warbler
Point Lookout, Nassau

photo by Lloyd Spitalnik


Historical Database
of all past NYSARC

Now includes all reports discussed in the NYSARC Annual Report for 2012

a comprehensive listing
of over 2000 reports
submitted to NYSARC
since its inception
with links to associated NYSARC Annual Reports

How to Document
a Rare Bird

Please submit a report for any rare sighting,
even if you think many
others have already reported the same bird.

Last Updated 10/29/17

On these pages you will find information about the New York State Avian Records Committee — what it is, what it does, and how you can contribute important information and documentation about rare bird sightings. In addition, you can view annual reports about NYSARC's decisions on specific sightings, and you can even peruse a detailed database of past submissions.

NYSARC Special Report: Six New Species
Added to the NYS Checklist Since 2012

Read Angus Wilson's full report about these exciting changes, including the usual sighting and decision-making details included in every NYSARC Annual Report.

Couch's Kingbird, photo by Ardith Bondi
Couch's Kingbird   © Ardith Bondi

Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary report. Six additions to the Checklist of the Birds of New York State were reviewed and accepted under NYSARC’s Accelerated Review Policy that prioritizes well documented sightings of species not previously recorded in the state. A total of 37 submissions were evaluated, seven from 2013 and 30 from 2014. All six records were accepted, and this brings the state list to 489 species.


An excerpt from the report:

Couch’s Kingbird (Tyrannus couchii)
2014-62-A/N One, West Village, New York, New York, 23 Dec 2014-3 Jan 2015
Joanne Pawlowski glimpsed this kingbird several times near her lower Manhattan apartment in the two months leading up to the Christmas holidays and recognized it as something unusual. On 23 Dec 2014, her husband, Zack Winestine, managed to study it more closely and suspected it might be a Western Kingbird (T. verticalis) based on likelihood. On Christmas Day Winestine obtained photographs, which he shared with Gabriel Willow, who concluded that it was most likely either a Tropical (T. melancholicus) or Couch’s (T. couchii) Kingbird. Winestine’s impression of the bird’s vocalizations seemed a better fit for Couch’s. This prompted Willow to post the location details to a local listserve, and the news was further disseminated by Andrew Baksh. Many birders were onsite the next morning and soon refound the bird, which was extensively photographed. Vocalizations were also heard, confirming the identification as a Couch’s Kingbird. Although the kingbird was seen at multiple locations, it favored a tiny green space (known locally as a ‘vestpocket park’, on account of being even smaller than a ‘pocket’ or ‘micro’ park), featuring several deciduous trees, ornamental shrubs, and a fountain. The kingbird also frequented surrounding apartment buildings, using balconies and fire escapes as perches from which to sally after flying insects.                              Read the full report.

Angus Wilson
Former Chair, New York State Avian Records Committee
New York State Ornithological Association

Check out the links on this page to see information on past rarities and to see how you, too, can get involved!
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