2014 Annual Report of the Virginia Avian Records Committee
The members of the 2014 Virginia Avian Records Committee (VARCOM) were Bill Williams (Chair), Wendy Ealding (Secretary), Andrew Baldelli, Nick Flanders, Dick Rowe, Adam D’Onofrio, Mike Stinson, Lee Adams and Kieran Kilday.
The Committee held an annual meeting in Lexington on March 8, 2014. Dick Rowe was appointed as Vice Chair. Among the topics discussed were:
• revisions of the bylaws to provide additional clarity
• the format of the Annual Report
• the location of the VARCOM archives
• VARCOM’s role within VSO in relation to Virginia Birds and future issue of Virginia’s Birdlife: An Annotated Checklist
• VARCOM’s interface with eBird review
• VARCOM’s involvement with a possible second Breeding Bird Atlas
• Possible change in the review status of species that are declining and that are not currently on the Review List.
Subsequent to the meeting, the Committee voted electronically to change the status of Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) from Category 4 to Category 5, and adding it to the Review List. This was in response to numerous Mountains and Valleys reports of the species,as well as evolving knowledge of the status and distribution of reintroduced birds and their offspring.Making the species reviewable will help monitor the presence of the species in the state. This change and the minor bylaws revisions mentioned above were approved by the VSO Board of Directors at their November 15, 2014 meeting.
During the year, ODU graduate students Scott Pardue and Avinash Gosavi continued work on the DOVES (Database for Ornithological Verification and Submissions) online data entry and records management system. After multiple rounds of additional testing using real submissions, the program was ported to a commercial web host under the domain name vsodoves.org. A further round of testing at this new site was planned for early 2015 prior to general release.