2021 Annual Meeting

2021 TBRC Annual Meeting

The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Texas Bird Records Committee (hereafter committee or TBRC) was held at 11:00 AM on 11 September 2021. Carpenter hosted the meeting at his house in Dripping Springs with both Frank and Cook showing up in person; all other members were able to attend online via video conference (Zoom).


● Tony Frank, Chair

● Eric Carpenter, Secretary

● Keith Arnold, Academician

Sheridan Coffey

Greg Cook

● Mel Cooksey

● Mary Gustafson

● Dan Jones

● Stephan Lorenz

● Chris Runk

● Willie Sekula

The meeting was convened at 11:03 AM.

Election of Members

Frank, Carpenter and Arnold were the only nominees respectively for the Chairman, Secretary and Academician positions. All three were unanimously (re)elected to their respective position.

Gustafson and Sekula both had their first term expire at the meeting and both were elected to serve a second term.

Lorenz and Jones had their second term expire at the Annual Meeting so there were 2 open Voting Member positions. There were 3 nominees - Steve Glover (nominated by Cook), Arman Moreno (nominated by Coffey), and John Muldrow (nominated by Sekula). The background/merits of each candidate were discussed with Glover and Moreno being elected to the open positions.

Thus, effective at the end of the Annual Meeting, current membership and term of service are as follows:

● Tony Frank, Chair - term expires in 2023, can be re-elected

● Eric Carpenter, Secretary (not a Voting Member) - term expires in 2022, can be re-elected

● Keith Arnold, Academician (not a Voting Member) - term is as listed for Secretary, can be re-elected

Steve Glover – 1st term expires in 2024, can be re-elected

Arman Moreno – 1st term expires in 2024, can be re-elected

● Sheridan Coffey – 1st term expires in 2023, can be re-elected

● Greg Cook – 1st term expires in 2023, can be re-elected

● Mel Cooksey – 1st term expires in 2022, can be re-elected

● Mary Gustafson - 2nd term expires in 2024

● Willie Sekula - 2nd term expires in 2024

● Chris Runk – 2nd term expires in 2022

The sequence (used primarily for order for oral/4th round records) of members for voting becomes:

Glover, Moreno, Coffey, Cook, Cooksey, Gustafson, Sekula, Runk, Frank

Bylaw review

A requisite review of the Bylaws was in order this year. Gustafson pointed out that the American Ornithologists' Union is now the American Ornithological Society so Carpenter will revise that reference immediately. In addition, there are minor mentions of things from years gone by such as reimbursement for postage, etc that need to be brought into a modern day/electronic way of communicating. Carpenter will go through a review and come up with more "modernized" version/wordage for outdated processes/concepts to be ready for next year's meeting. Likewise, it seems like the heading/number/lettering scheme of the published Bylaws on the website has gone astray (with the move to the new website) with roman numerals, numbers and letters not necessarily used consistently by references within the Bylaws; Carpenter will also come up with corrected references for next year's meeting.

Fourth Round Records

One fourth-round record was discussed and voted on:

2020-160 - Garganey (1)

15 Dec 1988, Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston County

not accepted, 4-5

This record was a frustrating decision for all as it was an old, only recently-(re)discovered slide of a clearly identifiable male Garganey in alternate plumage shot by a hunter. The photographer is unknown and the birders holding the bird in the photo are both deceased. Thus, while the date written on the slide and the deduced location are presumed to be correct, there is room for uncertainty. In addition, it is rare (though possible) for male Garganeys to be in alternate plumage in December, which adds a bit more uncertainty. All members would agree that it was "probably" a good record but there were unfortunately enough unknowns to prevent it from being accepted.

Removal of Dusky-capped Flycatcher (lawrenceii) from Review List B

Cook led a discussion to see if there was interest in removing Dusky-capped Flycatcher (lawrenceii) from Review List B. A record number (9) were accepted by the TBRC in south Texas this past fall/winter with likely additional individuals seen or heard that were not identified to subspecies. Gustafson pointed out that this fall/winter was clearly exceptional and there have been recent fall/winter periods where none have been reported; plus, at least one Dusky-capped Flycatcher found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley has been determined to NOT be of the lawrenceii group. Others agreed that it is a situation worth watching and if there are repeats of what happened last fall/winter the next couple of years that this topic could be revisited. Thus, no vote to remove it from Review List B was made.

Adding Exotics to the State List

Stemming from last year's meeting, Lorenz had drafted a proposal to add Red-vented Bulbul to the state list that he then shared with Frank. Frank had asked Mike Austin and David Bradford to come up with similar drafts for both the bulbul (which they merged with what Lorenz had done) and Scaly-breasted Munia based on the criteria for established exotics as shown on our website, see:


As the TBRC has yet to review these 2 proposals or any other exotics based on this criteria, Frank went through the eight requirements to make sure that all members agreed they were worthy requirements. There was agreement that all eight were solid criteria with only some minor concerns around whether a peer-reviewed published article was required. It was thought that a peer-reviewed article should be strongly encouraged, especially for species that are not yet on the ABA list since the ABA requirement will be for a peer-reviewed published article.

There was also some discussion on the review process that the committee should take as it may not be exactly the same path as regular sighting records. Carpenter offered that proposals for adding exotics based on this criteria might be better served to go through a single round of voting and then, if not accepted, have the TBRC comments on where the proposal fell short of the criteria sent back to the submitters. In cases where the short-comings could be corrected, the submitters would be able to edit their proposal and resubmit it. Carpenter will start out with circulating one of the two proposals in the coming months to see how this approach works.

Additional discussions

Cook asked about the resubmission process and what constitutes (in the bylaws) "new and substantial documentary evidence". His specific interest was the (not accepted) 2016 Ector County Vaux's Swift record as he had heard from someone who had run many of the photos from the record through Merlin (a photo ID program) and most of them had been ID'ed by the program as Vaux's. Carpenter stated that he interpreted the by-laws such that the "new [...] evidence" meant that there needed to be unsubmitted photos, unsubmitted field notes and/or new knowledge in bird identification to be a candidate for resubmission. Different and new subjective opinions whether by experts or via photo ID programs such as Merlins did not qualify; other members agreed with that.


With no other formal business on the agenda and no additional Any Other Business items raised, the meeting was adjourned at 12:20PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Carpenter

Secretary, Texas Bird Records Committee