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North American Breeding Bird Survey  
Training: Appendix C
Documenting Migrant, Vagrant, and Non-breeding Species
Only submit documentation for migrant, vagrant, and nonbreeding species (MVN) if it is outside of its normal migratory pathway. For example, a Western Kingbird sighting on a BBS route in Maryland should be supported with some documentation of the observation. The same would hold true for a Yellow-throated Vireo in California. Basically, if a state’s rare bird committee would require documentation of the MVN, then documentation should also be sent to the BBS office. The report should contain the following elements:
  1. Field marks and/or behavioral characteristics that were used to identify the species.
  2. Duration of observation (i.e. fleeting glance, a full-minute, etc.)
  3. Distance from observer.
  4. Type of optics used to view species (i.e., 7 x 35 binos., 10 x 40 binos., none, etc.).
  5. Type of habitat where species was detected.
  6. Similar species in area and how they were ruled out.

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