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Mission Statement

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is

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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

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Bylaws of the South Carolina Bird Records Committee

  1. Name
    1. The name of the organization shall be the South Carolina Bird Records Committee, hereafter referred to as the “Committee”.
    2. The Committee operates as a committee of the Carolina Bird Club (CBC).
  2. Committee Function
    1. The role of the Committee is to judge reports of rare and/or unusual birds from South Carolina and the adjacent ocean. “Adjacent ocean” is defined as that area within 200 nautical miles of the South Carolina coast and for which South Carolina is the nearest point of land.
    2. The Committee will permanently archive the original bird records and all committee votes and comments for future reference. For the purpose of the Committee and these Bylaws, a “record” is documentation submitted to or obtained by the Committee as proof of the identity of a sighted, heard, collected, banded, or photographed bird.
    3. The Committee will publish all records receiving a decision and provide a means by which sight records can gain acceptance as valuable scientific data.
    4. The Committee will establish and maintain the official South Carolina state bird list.
    5. The Committee will produce a list of species or types of records for which documentation is required (Review List; Section VI.D).
    6. The Committee will educate and encourage the birding community to observe, record, and report birds.
  3. Membership
    1. Composition.
      1. The Committee shall consist of 7 or 9 voting members including the Chair. The Secretary may or may not be a voting member.
      2. At the Chair's discretion, up to two non-voting “advisory” members can be seated.
    2. Qualifications.
      1. Committee members must demonstrate an ability and the knowledge of field identification of birds.
      2. Committee members must have knowledge of the occurrence of bird species in South Carolina.
      3. Committee members must be members of the Carolina Bird Club.
    3. Voting Members
      1. Appointments and Term of Office
        1. Voting members shall be appointed for a term of three years.
        2. Terms will run concurrent with the calendar year, commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31. Appointments will be staggered, with two or three members' terms expiring at the end of each year.
        3. Committee members are eligible to serve a second, consecutive three-year term. After completing two consecutive three-year terms, there is a mandatory one-year retirement from the Committee.
      2. Nominations
        1. Each year, the Chair shall appoint a nominating committee composed of two current committee members, voting or otherwise.
        2. Prior to the expiration of a member's term, the nominating committee will provide the Chair a list of potential members. The Chair will then provide the list of prospective committee members for the upcoming year to the CBC President, who will present the nominees to the CBC Executive Committee.
    4. Chair
      1. Election and Term of Office
        1. The Chair shall be elected for a term of one year.
        2. The Chair may serve consecutive terms in accordance to Section III.C.1.
        3. The Chair's term will run concurrent with the calendar year, commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31.
      2. Nominations
        1. Each year, the Chair shall solicit nominations from within the Committee for persons to fill the Chair for the next calendar year.
        2. Should more than one candidate receive nomination, the Secretary shall oversee an election among the voting members of the Committee.
        3. In the case of an election of the Chair involving two or more candidates that results in a tie, the two candidates who receive the most votes will have a run-off election.
      3. Duties
        1. The Chair will call and preside at Committee meetings.
        2. The Chair will ensure the proper application of the Bylaws.
        3. The Chair will procure additional data on records when deemed desirable.
        4. The Chair will receive, circulate, recirculate, and file all bird records and supporting data submitted to the Committee.
        5. The Chair will furnish ballots to voting members and tabulate results of all votes of the Committee.
    5. Secretary
      1. Appointment and Term of Office
        1. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Chair with the approval of the Committee for a term of one year.
        2. The Secretary may serve consecutive terms in accordance to Section III.C.1.
        3. The Secretary's term will run concurrent with the calendar year, commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31.
        4. The Secretary shall be a voting or non-voting member of the Committee.
      2. Duties
        1. The Secretary will keep minutes at annual meetings.
        2. The Secretary will keep the master list of bird records current.
        3. Along with or absent of the Chair, the Secretary may receive, circulate, recirculate, and file all bird records and supporting data submitted to the Committee.
        4. Along with or absent of the Chair, the Secretary may furnish ballots to voting members and tabulate results of all votes of the Committee.
    6. Advisory Members (non-voting)
      1. Qualifications.
        1. Advisory Members must meet the qualifications listed in Section III.B.
        2. Advisory Members must have a history of service to the Records Committee(s).
      2. Appointment and Term of Office.
        1. Advisory Members will be appointed by the Chair with approval of the Committee and the CBC Executive Committee.
        2. There is no term limit for Advisory Members.
        3. Advisory Members are eligible to return to the Committee as a voting member subject to the term limits and provisions put forth under Section III.C.
      3. Duties.
        1. Advisory Members participate in discussion, provide input on prospective committee members, provide historical perspective of the birds of South Carolina, and provide support to the Chair as requested.
        2. Advisory Members may serve as Secretary.
    7. Removals. The Committee may remove, with cause, any voting or non-voting member who is delinquent in their duties or acts in a manner that reflects poorly on the Committee. Such action requires a majority vote of all voting members, not merely a quorum. A removal must be accomplished at a meeting of the Committee. Absent voting members may vote by written ballot to the Committee.
    8. Vacancies and Special Appointments. If the Committee loses a voting member during mid-term, the Chair shall conduct a Special Appointment. A Special Appointment may be conducted at a meeting or by individual contact with voting members via email. The manner of nomination and appointment shall be similar to the regular selection of a member as in Section III.C.2.
  4. Meeting
    1. Annual Meeting. The Committee must meet at least once each year at a time and place set by the Chair, or via remote, virtual meeting technology.
    2. Special Meetings. Special Meetings of the Committee may be called by the Chair or by majority request of the voting members.
    3. Quorum.
      1. Four voting members shall constitute a quorum if the Committee is made up of seven voting members.
      2. Five voting members shall constitute a quorum if the Committee is made up of nine voting members.
    4. CBC members who wish to attend an annual meeting should contact the Chair in advance. Guests may attend or participate in open discussions as appropriate.
    5. Voting at the meetings is limited to Committee members and any duly designated proxy of an absent Committee member.
  5. Bylaws
    1. Formation. All Bylaws and other procedures of the Committee are to be determined by the Committee and the CBC Executive Committee.
    2. Review. The Bylaws shall be reviewed at least once every five years by the Committee.
    3. Amendments. These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of a quorum at any Committee meeting, or by a majority vote of a quorum via email balloting. Any revisions made by the Committee must be approved by the CBC Executive Committee.
  6. The South Carolina Official List
    1. Definitive List: the main list where strong documentation is established for species occurring in SC.
      1. A species documented by an appropriately archived voucher specimen.
      2. A species documented by an unambiguous photograph, voice recording, video, or other physical evidence.
      3. A species documented by not fewer than three separate reports by three different observers where physical evidence is lacking.
      4. A species from a non-native, feral, or exotic population that is self-sustaining or expanding for a period of 10 or more years.
      5. A species from an officially sanctioned species reintroduction program whose population has been self-sustaining or expanding for a period of 10 or more years.
    2. Provisional List
      1. Includes those species reasonably well-documented, but without firm evidence (specimen, photograph, etc.), as occurring in South Carolina
      2. Any species that has been accepted by fewer than three separate reports made by three different observers, where no physical evidence (specimen, photograph, etc.) exists.
    3. Supplemental List: Species on this list will be assigned to one or more of the status categories below. Records for species listed on the Supplemental List still serve important functions, as future acceptable records may require reevaluation of these past records to best interpret the increasing occurrence of certain species in South Carolina over time.
      1. Questionable Origin (QO): Includes species reported with unclear origin.
      2. Non-Established (NE): Species where the wild status is questionable.
      3. Hypothetical (HY): Species inadequately documented but where published reports are available.
    4. Review List: includes species observed in South Carolina for which the Committee requests documentation by completing a “Rare Bird Report” or submitting other acceptable forms of documentation.
      1. The Review List consists of the following:
        1. Species that have occurred within South Carolina and adjacent ocean ten or fewer times.
        2. Any rare and/or difficult-to-identify species as designated by the Committee.
      2. A species with thirty (30) or more accepted records will be evaluated at the annual meeting for removal from the Review List.
      3. A vote from a majority of a quorum of voting members is needed to remove a species from the review list.
      4. Any species newly added to the Definitive or Provisional list will automatically be added to the Review List, excluding non-established species or those added to the state list based on a taxonomic change.
      5. Once removed from the Review List, any species may be added back to the Review List at the annual meeting with a majority vote from a quorum of voting members.
  7. Bird Records
    1. Record Considered.
      1. The Committee is free to evaluate any report of a bird from South Carolina, whether unpublished, previously published, pending publication, or submitted for publication.
      2. Records only from the state of South Carolina and the adjacent ocean will be considered.
      3. Any record of a species on the Review List and substantiated with any or all forms of documentation will be evaluated by the Committee.
      4. Records of species not on the Review List, but for which there are no accepted records for South Carolina, will be evaluated.
      5. Records of species or other taxa (e.g. subspecies, genera) that are geographically or temporally rare will be evaluated at the discretion of the Chair and/or Committee.
      6. Records based on specimens or banding will be treated in the same manner as other records.
    2. Submission
      1. Records may be submitted in any form, including written, photographic, digital image, video, audio recording, drawing, or specimen.
      2. Each record should be accompanied by written details that include, the species being reported, the name(s) of the evidence provider(s), initial finder(s)/identifier(s) (if known), the location, and the date(s) of the observation. A written description of the bird is strongly encouraged.
      3. Records should be, but need not be, submitted on the Committee's official Report Form.
    3. Resubmission
      1. A record that has received a final Committee decision, whether accepted or rejected, and even though published in the Committee Annual Report, may be resubmitted by a voting member, an observer, or any other person, if and only if new and substantial documentary evidence becomes available that might reverse the decision.
      2. Such a record shall be resubmitted and circulated following the same procedure as new submissions, except that it should be accompanied by all previous votes and comments of the Committee, and all new evidence must be marked as such.
      3. Resubmissions will be subject to the same evaluation process, except that previously accepted records must receive a majority of non-accept votes to reverse the previous decision; otherwise they remain accepted.
    4. Circulation
      1. The Chair and/or Secretary shall solicit and/or receive all initial records. Upon receipt of a record, the Chair and/or Secretary should do the following:
        1. Check the description for completeness and clarity and, if deemed desirable, request additional information from the reporter or other observers. Details thus acquired must be clearly marked as such and kept separate from the original submission.
        2. Affix to it a unique number consisting of the year of receipt followed by a hyphen and the next available unused number, starting with “1” for that year. If a record is represented by documentation from more than one observer, each description should receive the same number.
        3. Log, in the master file organized by record number the species, the name of the reporter(s), date range, and location for each record.
        4. Create a ballot form for each record or batch of records to be evaluated by the Committee.
        5. Create a cover sheet which contains all pertinent information regarding each record or batch of records to be evaluated by the Committee.
        6. Deliver to each voting member a voting packet which includes a ballot form, cover sheet, original report, and any other physical evidence or expert opinion for each record or batch of records.
      2. Deadlines
        1. A time deadline for the return of all votes shall be established by the Chair but shall not exceed four weeks from the date the voting packet was delivered.
        2. Committee members may cast their vote at any time before the deadline and may change or amend their votes up to the stated deadline.
      3. Upon receipt of the voting packet for a record or batch of records, the voting member shall do the following:
        1. Evaluate the record(s), vote, and provide comments as outlined by Section VII.E.4.
        2. Return the completed ballot form to the Chair and/or Secretary by the deadline indicated on the ballot form.
      4. Recirculation
        1. A record shall be recirculated, together with the votes and the comments of every voting member from previous circulations, until it has received a decision vote or until three circulations have been completed.
        2. A record that has not received a final decision after three circulations can be tabled and discussed at the Annual Meeting. A final decision shall be made at the meeting during an oral fourth and final vote among the members present (see Section VII.E.7(d)).
    5. Voting
      1. Ballot. The vote of each voting member, together with comments, if any, must be submitted on the ballot form received from the Chair and/or Secretary.
      2. Voting Categories
        1. Accept: identification is judged to be accurate and the bird of wild origin.
        2. Non-accept:
          1. Identification not established.
          2. Establishment of introduced population questionable
          3. Natural occurrence questionable.
      3. Abstentions. Voting Members may not abstain from voting.
        1. On the first circulation, a non-accept vote must be supported by appropriate comments.
        2. On subsequent circulations, either a non-accept or accept vote shall be supported by comments.
      5. Consultations
        1. On the first circulation, a voting member shall not discuss a record with another voting member prior to both having voted.
        2. On subsequent circulations, discussions among voting members are acceptable.
        3. During the evaluation process voting members may consult with anyone outside the Committee having knowledge of the species or the individual bird(s) in question. Any such information shall be shared with all voting members as early in the process as possible.
      6. Tabulation. The voting results shall be tabulated by the Chair and/or the Secretary within four weeks of the voting deadline.
      7. Decisions
        1. A record is considered accepted if it receives no more than one “non-acceptance” vote.
        2. A record is considered not accepted if it receives a majority of “non-acceptance” votes.
        3. A record is to be recirculated if it receives any combination other than described in (a) or (b) above.
        4. A record receiving a fourth and final circulation (see Section VII.D.4(b)) shall be accepted if it receives no more than one “non-acceptance” vote, and not accepted if it receives two or more “non-acceptance” votes.
      8. Change of voting member. A ballot in progress at the time a new voting member is elected should be completed by the retiring voting member. Subsequent circulations of that ballot should be completed by the new voting member. Record circulations should be timed to avoid this to the extent possible.
  8. Publication
    1. Annual Report. An annual report of the Committee shall be published inThe Chat. The Chair must submit an annual report before March 1 of the following year.
      1. The precise format of the report is at the discretion of the Chair andThe Chat editor but must include the following:
        1. A complete list of records reviewed, excluding pending records.
        2. The judgement of the Committee for each record along with the number of votes to “accept” and “non-accept”.
        3. Rationale for the Committee's decision for each record reviewed and/or its assignment to the List Category (Section VI).
      2. For non-accepted records, the annual report shall not list the name(s) of the observer(s), nor the precise location and dates of the sighting(s).
      3. If a report is published inThe Chat but rejected by the Committee, the decision of the Committee shall carry precedence and a corrigenda shall be published inThe Chat.
      4. Should the Editor ofThe Chat receive a report submitted for publication prior to Committee acceptance, the Editor may request the Chair to expedite review.
    2. Carolina Bird Club website. Pending reports and the results from each ballot will be provided regularly to the CBC website editor to be published on the CBC website (https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/brc/SC/reports.html).