New York State Avian Records Committee

a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association

Aims of NYSARC

The New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC) was established in 1977 by The Federation of New York State Bird Clubs, with the primary goal of maintaining the official list of species of birds known to occur or have occurred (in the case of extinct species) in New York State and adjacent ocean. To do so, NYSARC reviews all data pertaining to records of scarce or rare birds reported in the state. These data are archived at Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, to provide reference and research material for birders and ornithologists. These records, comprising written descriptions, photographs, tape recordings, and committee member's comments provide an important permanent record of the ever-changing avifauna of the state.

Bird records typically originate as written descriptions and/or photographs that are submitted by observers involved with the discovery of a rare bird. These are evaluated by the committee to determine whether there is sufficient documentation to accept the record. This in turn provides a means by which sight records (rather than specimens) can gain universal acceptance as valuable scientific data. This provides an important opportunity for amateur ornithologists (in other words, "birders") to contribute to the study of bird distribution and vagrancy.

Angus Wilson,
Current NYSARC Chair


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