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Report Guidelines

RHODE ISLAND RARE BIRD REPORT GUIDELINES

Most of the records in Rhode Island's historical archive have been contributed by amateur birders who have discovered and reported rare birds.  Committee members and future birders who did not see the bird and do not know the reporter will read these reports and evaluate them based on the information contained in the report.  Thus birders need to take the time to accurately and thoroughly report the details of what was observed at the time of the sighting.

Birders may use this list a guideline for reporting.   Some information on this list will not be relevant to some reports, and may be left out.  The report may be submitted in this format, or it may be written in an order and format that suits the reporter. The ultimate purpose of this guideline is to assist birders in writing a thorough and detailed report that will become a permanent part of Rhode Island's avian historical record.

SPECIES AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Species being reported including molt, plumage, age, and sex
Date(s) observed
Location and habitat
Your name, and date report was written

CIRCUMSTANCES OF SIGHTING
Brief narrative describing the circumstances of the sighting
Name(s) of any persons with you at the time
Previous sightings by others

DESCRIPTION BASED ON OBSERVATIONS MADE AT THE TIME OF THE SIGHTING
Size and shape
Plumage: patterns, colors, wear, and relative proportions
Bare parts: shape, colors, and relative proportions
Vocalization(s)
Behavior
Comparison to other nearby species

BASIS FOR IDENTIFICATION
Other species considered along with reasons for eliminating them
References used for identification, and when those references were consulted
Comments and opinions of others present at the time of the observation

SUPPORTING INFORMATION
Your experience with species
Optics used
Weather, time of day, light, distance from bird, length of time observed

CONTACT INFORMATION AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
Your name, address, telephone and/or email
Photos, recordings, and/or field notes, and permission for the Records Committee to use them