This section provides resources for reporting sightings of regionally rare and unusual species to the Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee. Note that the MD/DCRC reviews only species that are new to MD or DC or appear on the MD/DCRC MD Review List or the DC Review List. Reports of other species can be posted on MDBirding, the local Maryland Birding email group, to eBird, or to the MD Birding Facebook page.
Sighting Reporting Form
There is no required format for a rarity sighting report to the MD/DCRC; however, the report format, below, is organized by key topics that should be addressed in a comprehensive rarity sighting report. Download the PDF form or report online below.
How to Document Your Sightings
This section is dedicated to Claudia Wilds who taught many of us in Maryland and beyond how to look at birds. When you see an unusual bird for Maryland it’s important to report it to others and to document it so it can be more thoroughly investigated. Which species should you report? The MD/DC Records Committee compiles and updates review lists for MD and DC, which should be consulted carefully.
Several helpful articles have been written on documenting bird sighting that may be helpful to you. Here are three we like:
- On Taking a Notebook Afield by Claudia Wilds
- Emerging from the Silent Majority: Documenting Rarities by Claudia Wilds and Robert Hilton (SORA)
- Greg Lasley’s Texas Bird Records Committee site.
Other Useful Identification Links
This checklist may be helpful in preparing sighting reports:
Sighting Documentation Guide Checklist
This document provides some background information on “Not-Accepted” bird sighting reports.