[Bristol-Birds] Re: Common Nighthawk

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 02:10:12 -0500

Here is what I believe applies to the nighthawk record:

In the past 107 years of Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, there is no record for  
a Common Nighthawk for Virginia.  There are no winter records known for the 
species in the
state of Virginia.  As compilers of counts, we are the first line of collecting 
and reporting documentation.
If the observer of this species wishes to have it included in the count week 
(CW) data
reported to Audubon, it should have an Unusual Bird Reports form completed in 
detail by the observer
and sent to the region editor.  The reliability of this identification does not 
upon the verbal report but rather on the ability to completely document the 

Rob Biller handed out copies of the Unusual Bird Reports at our planning 
meeting and it can 
probably be downloaded from the Audubon CBC website on the internet.

The fact that this is a count week report does not lower the standard of 
acceptance from
that of a species reported on the count day.  

In addition,  this record should be sent to the Virginia Avian Records 
More detailed instructions and how to submit a report may be found at 

I have known Betty Edmondson for years and she is an experienced birder.  My 
remarks here have
nothing to do whatsoever with her judgment or identification skills or her 
ability to correctly ID a
Common Nighthawk.  It is all about required, careful, documentation.

When are Unusual Bird Reports Required? 
Unusual Bird Reports are required under the following circumstances: 
Neotropical migrant species for which there are few accepted records for North 
Any reports of these species in North America MUST be accompanied by impeccable 
substantiating details, preferably including sketches and/or photographs, or 
they will be 
deleted from counts. The only exceptions for some of these species, such as 
Broad-winged Hawk and Ruby-throated Hummingbird, will be for the very limited 
geographic area (like coastal Louisiana or south Florida) where the species is 
on Christmas Bird Counts. 
The species (or form) is out of range, season, or difficult to identify. These 
should be flagged as US (Unusual Species) when reported on the checklist. The 
rule is that if it's a "good bird" or not a winter regular, it should include 
details. Lack 
of a report could result in the species being omitted or tagged with the 
dreaded ND (no details)! 
All reports must include the name and phone number of the person who is the 
for the report. This could be a compiler or it could be a participant who 
observed the species. 

Let's go birding.......

Wallace Coffey
Bristol, TN

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ron Harrington 
  To: Bristol Bird Network 
  Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 10:13 PM
  Subject: [Bristol-Birds] Common Nighthawk

  Betty Edmondson, Abingdon, called me to report that she had seen a Common 
Nighthawk in flight near Seven Mile Ford, VA, late in the day on December 31. 
Betty, a regular participant in the Glade Spring CBC and experienced birder, 
observed the bird flying and was able to see the bird at a relatively close 
distance. Since this was in the Glade Spring CBC area, this bird will be 
included in the count as a "count week" bird (cw). She also found 2 Wilson's 
Snipe and a Barn Owl near Emory. The Snipe will also be included in the count 

  Ron Harrington
  Compiler, Glade Spring CBC

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