The Ceylon Bird Club Rarities and Records Committee (CBCRRC) was originally formed as the Ceylon Bird Club Rarities Committee (CBCRC) in 1985. Its role was to scrutinise and evaluate all specimen-based and sight records of birds in Sri Lanka from the past which it finds, and all specimens and reports in the future which come to its attention, and thereby present all and only authentic records in a Sri Lanka List of birds. A Main List, Appendix I and Appendix II were defined.
In October 1998 the Rarities Committee refined the criteria for the above categories further for recording in a more informative manner all species and subspecies of birds known from Sri Lanka. Its name was changed to the Records Committee (still CBCRC) to indicate its wider role.
In 2005 the Committee adopted the present name to clearly reflect the two aspects of its role, evaluating reports and categorising those which are not rejected.
A Rarity Report Form for submitting a report of a rarity is available from the Club. The report may be accompanied by other supportive evidence. By a ‘rarity’ is meant a very rare, or rare ‘confusion’, migrant species or subspecies or a very rare ‘confusion’ resident species (e.g. Blue-eared Kingfisher) in Sri Lanka. (A ‘confusion’ species or subspecies is one which requires a high degree of care in observation and identification to separate it from others which look similar.) A list of rarities is provided. A report of a species or subspecies which is new to Sri Lanka or a rarity should be conveyed to the CBCRRC in the manner set out in the Form.
The role of the Ceylon Bird Club Rarities and Records Committee
The CBC Rarities and Records Committee is appointed by the Committee of the CBC, and currently has eight members. The CBCRRC is a well-balanced team comprising experienced, reliable field ornithologists, among whom are an avian taxonomist and professional academic ornithologist, and a zoological taxonomist and historian of ornithological records. Many of the members have wide international experience and knowledge as field ornithologists. Knowledge and skills of members include: expertise in bird identification; in the status and distribution of birds in Sri Lanka; extensive field experience of rare and ‘confusion’ taxa; expertise in birds of the wider region; in taxonomy; genetics; aviculture in Sri Lanka; and the history of ornithological records in Sri Lanka. Their work is entirely voluntary and unpaid.
The CBCRRC presently comprises: T. W. Hoffmann (Chairman), D. P. Wijesinghe, N. Senanayake, D. H. Warakagoda (Secretary), J. Gunawardana, G. Lamsfuss, P. I. Holt and P. C. Rasmussen.
The Sri Lanka List and its two Appendices are known as the ‘List Categories’. These categorise according to the degree of certainty of occurrence in Sri Lanka each species or subspecies fully or provisionally accepted by the Rarities and Records Committee.
The Sri Lanka List contains all and only the records decided by the Committee to be authentic, i.e. accepted fully by it.
The Appendices document the unconfirmed although possible, and therefore provisionally accepted, reports as described below until conclusive evidence of each such species in Sri Lanka comes to light. The Appendices are not part of the Sri Lanka List but are simply meant to provide additional information.
The general definition for each List Category is given below, and for the Appendices it is followed by additional criteria that make it more precise.
The Sri Lanka List comprises all resident and migrant species and subspecies with accepted specimen-based or sight records. The occurrence of each of these taxa in Sri Lanka is not described within the range of doubt in the criteria for the Appendices.
Appendix I holds species or subspecies of migrants each known from (a) a sight report which is accepted only provisionally because there is some reasonable doubt about it, or (b) a record included in a previous Main List for Sri Lanka but about which there is now some reasonable doubt. (Cf. Appendix II).
The criteria for a species or subspecies to be listed in Appendix I are the following. The phrase ‘It is likely’ below means ‘There is no known reason why it is unlikely’.
If a species or subspecies in Appendix I is later included in the Sri Lanka List on the strength of a subsequent report then the report held here will be removed and, depending on the relevance, reliability and degree of detail presented in it, may or may not be recognised as a previous record.
Appendix II holds (a) migrant species or subspecies known from sight reports accepted provisionally with considerable doubt, (b) migrant species or subspecies known from records included in a previous Main List for Sri Lanka but about which there is now considerable doubt, (c) species or subspecies known from specimens whose origins are in doubt, and (d) species of domesticated or captive origin.
The criteria for a species or subspecies to be listed in Appendix II are the following. The phrase ‘It is less likely’ below means ‘There is at least one reason why it is unlikely’.
If a species or subspecies in Appendix II is later included in Appendix I or the Sri Lanka List on the strength of a subsequent report then the report held here will be removed and, depending on the relevance, reliability and degree of detail presented in it, may or may not be recognised as a previous record.
List of Rejections
The List of Rejections contains all the species or subspecies for which reports were submitted or records were claimed but were rejected after1990 as not meeting the criteria for the Sri Lanka List or the Appendices by the CBCRRC, existing by its present or previous names.
Other relevant information
Also provided by the CBCRRC are:
Recent CBCRRC decisions (those within the last 12 months),
Reports currently taken up for evaluation by the CBCRRC, and
Extracts from the Ceylon Bird Club Notes relating to the CBCRRC.