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Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
tipnews
Birds
How to document a sighting?

Some sightings are marked with a yellow triangle and an exclamation mark. Such a symbol means that the sighting is unexpected and needs to be documented more precisely. It may be related to a rare species, an unusual date or an unusual observation site.

The main goal of documenting a sighting is to produce a detailed description of what you have observed:  Each and every evidence concerning the size, appearance, feathering, calling, song, behaviour, the observation conditions, and diagnostic criteria eliminating similar species are needed. Additional proofs like pictures, drawings, video sequences and sound recordings are most welcome. Such documentation is to be done using the official rarities homologation form, which is then sent to the Swiss Rarities Committee (sak@vogelwarte.ch) with the additional proofs. This expert group assesses whether the sighting is correct and sufficiently documented or not to be taken into account in the scientific literature. Sightings accepted by this committee are additionally marked with a green hook behind the yellow triangle.

If such a bird remains in the same place for many days, it is not necessary to describe each and every observation in detail. Yet it is very important to document the first and the last observation date as well as the different individuals present during that time if more than one individual is present. In the normal case, the person who discovered the bird is responsible for the sighting documentation.

An insufficient documentation is the most frequent reason for a sighting to be rejected by the Swiss Rarities Committee. In almost all such cases the description is too poor or even missing. Sentences such as "I know this species very well", "the song was typical" or "the bird was identical to the one pictured in my identification book" are definitely not part of a description. Insufficiently documented observations are not taken into account at all, in any scientific studies. They are marked with a red exclamation point and remain visible only for the person who submitted it, yet not for the other users of ornitho.ch.

In order to guarantee a long term quality of the data published on ornitho.ch, we need you to document your unusual observations as completely as possible. Keep in mind to send your documentation as soon as possible to the Swiss Rarities Committee. Thanks in advance for your commitment on ornitho.ch!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Sunday, October 1st, 2017
avinews
Birds
International Vulture Watch Days
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, September 21st, 2017
avinews
Butterflies
Small but powerful!
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, August 25th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Topic of the month: Birders. These odd fish and their increasingly popular hobby
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Grouse Symposium – 28th October at the Natural History Museum of Bern
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Monday, July 24th, 2017
avinews
Biodiversity in Switzerland: state and development
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Thursday, July 13th, 2017
technews
Pictures and recordings of hidden sightings.
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Friday, July 7th, 2017
avinews
Birds
Communication of the Swiss Rarities Committee
posted by Bernard Volet
 
Friday, June 16th, 2017
avinews
Butterflies
Have you seen Red Admirals? Please record your sightings!
posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
avinews
Petition for the “biodiversity action plan”.
posted by Hans Schmid
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