Kirk Roth, Indianapolis, IN, Chair
Indiana Bird Records Committee

The following is a summary of the Indiana Bird Records Committee (IBRC) activity for 2018.

The big news is that the IBRC has begun accepting eBird checklists as submissions for review list species.  An eBird checklist link may now be simply emailed to the Chair ([email protected]).  The standard information for normal documentation (such as detailed description, circumstances of sighting, how similar species are eliminated, behavior, etc.) should be included in the species comments or otherwise be provided with the checklist.  Other forms of documentation, such as the Indiana Audubon Society website (, emails, mail, etc. are still welcome, of course, and now eBird can be added to the list of ways to submit rare bird documentation.

The official Indiana state bird list is now at 425 species.  One bird was added to the list this year – a well-photographed Lazuli Bunting which visited a feeder in Elkhart County in May.  Notably the Great Kiskadee has not yet been reviewed, and if accepted, will raise the state bird list to 426 species.

The IBRC is making steps to better define when a species should or should not be a review list species.  A procedure is being investigated to define review list species as having an average of two or fewer reports per year over a ten year period, with certain exceptions if the committee feels they are justified.  Under these criteria, it was decided that Fish Crow and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck should be taken off the review species list altogether (note that one Black-bellied Whistling-Duck was reviewed before this decision was made).  Northern Goshawk was added to the review list.  Western Kingbird was retained on the review list with the exception of Vanderburgh County.

The committee acted on the following 35 records in 2018.   Status codes are as follows:  APE = Accepted with Physical Evidence; ANPES = Accepted with No Physical Evidence, Single Observer; ANPEM = Accepted with No Physical Evidence, Multiple Observers; NI = Not Accepted, Insufficient Evidence

–          California Gull, LaPorte County, October 2018 – APE

–          Glaucous Gull, Monroe County, December 2017 – APE

–          Sabine’s Gull, Noble County, April 2018 – NI

–          Sabine’s Gull, Marion County, October 2018 –  APE

–          Anhinga, Elkhart County, May 2018 – NI

–          Neotropic Cormorant, St. Joseph County, April 2018 – APE

–          Neotropic Cormorant, Tippecanoe County, April 2018 – APE

–          Neotropic Cormorant, Marion County, May 2018 – APE

–          Neotropic Cormorant, Marion County, November 2018 –  ANPES

–          Brown Pelican – Putnam County, April 2018 – APE

–          Brown Pelican, Gibson County, August 2018, ANPEM

–          Black-bellied Whistling Duck – St. Joseph County, May 2018 – ANPEM

–          Cinnamon Teal, Tippecanoe County, September 2017 – APE

–          Yellow Rail, Montgomery County, September 2018 – ANPEM

–          Yellow Rail, Kosciusco County, September 2018 – ANPES

–          Black Rail, LaPorte County, July 2018 – APE

–          Purple Gallinule (deceased bird), May 2018 – Clark County, APE

–          Ruff, Gibson County, April 2018 – APE

–          Ruff, LaPorte County, April 2018 – APE

–          Ruff, Lake County, August 2018 – APE

–          White-tailed Kite, Porter County, May 2018 – APE

–          Swallow-tailed Kite, St. Joseph County, August 2018 – ANPES

–          Swallow-tailed Kite, Clinton County, August 2018 – APE

–          Gyrfalcon, Greene County, March 2018 – APE

–          Prairie Falcon, Knox County, December 2017 – APE

–          Prairie Falcon, Gibson County, December 2017 – ANPEM

–          Black-chinned Hummingbird, Johnson County, September 2018 – NI

–          Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Hendricks County, October 2017 – APE

–          Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Elkhart County, October 2017 – ANPES

–          Townsend’s Solitaire, Marshall County, June 2018 – NI

–          Hoary Redpoll, Porter County, January 2018 – APE

–          Bullock’s Oriole, Elkhart County, May 2018 – NI

–          Kirtland’s Warbler, Elkhart County, May 2018 – ANPEM

–          Black-throated Gray Warbler, Lake County, May 2018 – ANPES

–          Lazuli Bunting, Elkhart County, May 2018 – APE

Note that not all submissions from 2018 have been voted on yet.  The committee thanks all those who submitted records for review.

The Indiana Bird Records Committee (IBRC) evaluates the evidence for records of birds that are rare or unusual in Indiana and maintains a state checklist. The IBRC also maintains a Review List of birds that require documentation. Anyone observing a bird on the Review List should submit written documentation along with any photographic evidence to the IBRC chairman.

By judging the authenticity of these submitted reports, our aim is to contribute to the study of bird population and vagrancy.  For more information about our committee’s purpose and procedures, feel free to browse our Bylaws.

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