Rarities CommitteeA body appointed to consider rarity records and to decide if the identification of the species concerned is justified. Local committees deal with claimed sightings of species which are rare in their particular areas but not regarded as 'national' rarities, these bodies usually being appointed by local ornithological societies. The bird recorder usually receives records of rare birds for a given area, and submits them to the local committee or, if the species concerned is one of the 237 species defined as nationally rare, to the Rarities Committee of the journal 'British Birds'. This ten-member panel, often referred to as the 'Ten Rare Men', was established in 1959 to accept or reject rarity records of national significance, but is not the 'official' keeper of the British List, this being the function of the Records Committee of the British Ornithologists' Union. Therefore, if a record concerns a species new to the United Kingdom, the British Birds Rarities Committee sends it to the BOU Records Committee. Rare bird records for the Republic of Ireland are considered by the Irish Records Panel. In the case of both local and national rarities, full descriptive notes taken in the field at the time of the observation are essential for the acceptance of any record.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver