The Utah Birders site is up and running and it is pretty darn nice. What will likely draw the most attention is that they have decided to include a “Rarity Database” with the following explanation:

It is 2013 and there is no need for a committee to decide what sightings are relevant. Introducing the Utah Rare Birds Database, where ALL rare bird sightings are stored for you to interpret for yourself.

Subjective birding? Is this the trend of the future? I hope not. How would you create a state checklist if everyone decides for themselves what birds have been in the state and what haven’t?

State committees, at least the ones I have dealt with, keep all reports, accepted or rejected, with explanations as to why rejected reports were rejected. It’s hard enough to slog back through accepted reports from years past if you want  a historical perspective. Can you imagine having to dig through all of the rejected ones as well?

As frustrating as state committees can be they do exist for reasons and I think those reasons are valid.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.