1. Introduction

1.1   Background and Function

The British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) was formed in 1959 as the Rare Birds Committee under the aegis of the ornithological journal British Birds (BB).  From 2000 it continues to operate under the auspices of British Birds as a committee of BB 2000 Ltd.

Its main function is to apply uniform adjudication standards to claims of records of rare bird species and subspecies in the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) and the Isle of Man. Records at sea are also considered (see Appendix I).

Note: Hereinafter references to ‘Britain’ mean the area as defined above

1.2   Aims

1-To maintain an accurate database of records of the occurrence of rare taxa in Britain to enable individuals or organisations to assess the current status of, and any changes in, the patterns of occurrence and distribution of these taxa in Britain.

2-To provide an accurate and comprehensive Annual Report detailing records of rare taxa in Britain.

3-To assess all records of rare taxa in an independent, open, rigorous and consistent manner, and to provide observers with feedback on the assessment process as appropriate.

4-To publish material arising from the Committee’s work (e.g. details of interesting/difficult/controversial records and the outcome of reviews) and to provide information for the identification of rare taxa, to assist observers.

To help achieve these aims BBRC will strive to work closely with County Recorders, bird observatories, bird information services and observers to ensure that all records of rare taxa are submitted to this database.

1.3   Definitions

British Birds (BB): The journal of record in Britain, publishing the annual reports of the Rarities Committee.

BB 2000 Ltd: The holding company that owns and publishes British Birds

BBRC website: The website for all BBRC news and information www.bbrc.org.uk

BOURC: British Ornithologists’ Union’s Records Committee

BTO: British Trust for Ornithology

Recording Areas: The areas in the UK that have their own recorder and annual report, generally aligning to county boundaries. (See Appendix II). In this Constitution, the term County and County Recorder are used synonymously for Recording Area and the Recorder for that area.

Bird Observatory: The bird observatories within the Bird Observatories Council excluding those in Northern Ireland (see Appendix II).

Birding information services:  Organisations that provide information on the British birding scene, especially those associated with rare birds.

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