[CT Birds] Connecticut Christmas Bird Count Record for Eastern Kingbird

Linda & Steve Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Tue Oct 28 21:22:41 EDT 2014

The New Haven Christmas Bird Count held on December 15, 1973 reported an Eastern Kingbird.  American Birds, Volume 28, Number 2 (April 1974) provides the following information:  "E. Kingbird 1 (unmistakable - FK et al.)".  FK is Fred King.  Richard Bernard was the New Haven CBC compiler at that time.

Regional Editor Davis Finch wrote in his summary of the New England count, "A few brief reminders to compilers, in addition to those of last year:  in documenting a rarity, describe it, or better still, get a written description from the observer(s) for inclusion among details accompanying the count.  Observers' names are important.  Compilers, it is hoped, are also historians of their counts:  comparisons of CBC records with those of the past are often illuminating and always welcome."  Davis did not include Eastern Kingbird at New Haven among his "ten favorite records this year, chosen both for rarity and absolute reliability".  

The editors of the Seventy-Fourth Christmas Bird Count, Lois Heilbrun and Bob Arbib, wrote in their summary of the entire count, "A fair number of counts lost species to the regional editor's blue pencils, primarily for lack of supporting details.  For many rarities, it is simply not enough to give the observers' names and the note "well seen."  Distinguishing field marks, distance, duration, light conditions, and all other clinching information are required. . . For other comments on this problem, see the regional editors' summaries that follow."

I'll continue to look for additional information on the New Haven report of Eastern Kingbird on the 1973-74 CBC, but it should be noted that Davis did not use a blue pencil on Fred King's species submission.  Perhaps Davis, Dick Bernard, or others who participated in this count have further recollections.  I believe this is the only Connecticut CBC report of an Eastern Kingbird in the entire history of the count.

Steve Broker


More information about the CTBirds mailing list