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.
Current NYSARC Chair