by Dan Svingen and Ron Martin

The North Dakota state bird list was last updated more than 20 years ago. The state's avifauna has changed markedly since that list was published. In an attempt to document some of these changes, the North Dakota Natural Science Society formed the North Dakota Ornithological Records Committee in 1979. The North Dakota Birding Society reconstituted this committee in 2001. The committee's goals are to evaluate and archive documentations of rare bird sighting and to periodically revise the official state bird list. This report summarizes the results of the committee's evaluations in 2002.

The North Dakota Bird Records Committee reviewed material submitted to document the occurrence rare birds in North Dakota. This material typically involved a documentation form and a copy of field notes and sketches. Photographs, tape recordings, and videotape were reviewed when available. The 5-member committee then voted on whether the documentation was sufficient to establish the bird record. The vote taken was on the adequacy of the documentation, not on the skills of the observer. A vote of 4 or 5 yeas was required to accept a record. Conversely, a vote of 4 or 5 nays was required to reject a record. Unresolved records were recirculated until resolved.

Committee members for most of 2002 included: Ron Martin (Chairperson), Dan Svingen (Secretary), Larry Igl (Voting Member), Bob O'Connor (Voting Member), and Clark Talkington (Voting Member). Corey Ellingson and Jill Shaffer served as alternate members. In October 2002, Clark Talkington's term expired and Corey Ellingson succeeded him.

The committee evaluated 109 bird records, resolving 95. The remaining records were either archived because they were not subject to committee review (see review list published elsewhere on this website), or are still under review. The acceptance rate of resolved records was 79% (75/95), whereas the rejection rate was 21% (20/95). A summary of resolved records is presented in Table 1. Full details on these records will be published elsewhere.

As always, we wish to express our thanks to our fellow committee members, as well as particularly thanking all of the observers who submitted rare bird documentations.

Table 1. Results of North Dakota Birding Society's Bird Records Committee Votes in 2002. BRC = Bird Records Committee number, NWR = National Wildlife Refuge.


American Woodcock Feb-77 Ransom County 5/19/2001  
1) i.d. 1) Rejected
2) nest 2) Rejected
Anhinga Feb-32 Near Alice, Cass County 4/29/1998 Rejected
Arctic Tern Feb-53 Minot, Ward County 6/20/1993 Accepted
Black-necked Stilt Feb-55 Mandan, Morton County 5/9/1987 Accepted
Black-necked Stilt Feb-61 Kelly’s Slough NWR, Grand Forks County 6/1/2001 Accepted
Black-necked Stilt Feb-98 Mandan, Morton County 4/28/1981 Accepted
Black-necked Stilt Feb-99 Harwood, Cass County 5/29/1993 Accepted
Black-throated Sparrow 3-Feb Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge, Stutsman County 5/27/1984 Accepted
Blue Grosbeak 6-Feb Mirror Pool WMA, Ransom County 5/25/1997 Rejected
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 02-103 Fargo, Cass County 5/12/1990 Accepted
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Feb-42 Near Washburn, McLean County 10/6/1996 Accepted
Blue-winged Warbler Feb-66 Fort Ransom, Ransom County 8/25/2001 Accepted
Blue-winged Warbler Feb-83 Fargo, Cass County 5/12/1990 Accepted
Blue-winged Warbler Feb-84 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 8/31/1988 Accepted
“Brewster’s” Warbler Feb-85 Fargo, Cass County 5/22/1993 Accepted
Carolina Wren Feb-41 Mandan, Morton County 9/21/1996 Accepted
Cassin’s Finch 24-Feb Mandan, Morton County 1/18/1996 Accepted
Cerulean Warbler Feb-86 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 5/22/1987 Accepted
Common Eider 11-Feb Lake Sakakawea, McLean County 12/5/1981 Accepted
Common Eider 25-Feb Near Lawton, Ramsey County 4/22/1996 Rejected
Eastern Meadowlark 20-Feb Near Hope, Steele County 5/7/1995 Accepted
Eurasian Collared-Dove Feb-47 Napoleon, Logan County 2/10/2002 Accepted
Eurasian Wigeon Feb-73 Burleigh County 4/14/1985 Accepted
Franklin’s Gull 13-Feb Garrison Dam, Mercer County 12/21/1982 Accepted
Golden-crowned Sparrow 18-Feb Bismarck, Burleigh County 5/15/2000 Accepted
Golden-crowned Sparrow 19-Feb J. Clark Salyer NWR, McHenry County 5/16/1995 Accepted
“Gray-headed” Dark-eyed Junco Feb-81 Bismarck, Burleigh County 4/19/2002 Accepted
Great Black-backed Gull 5-Feb Garrison Dam, Mercer County 11/23/1996 Rejected
Hammond’s Flycatcher 15-Feb Near Solen, Sioux County 5/23/1986 Rejected
Henslow’s Sparrow Feb-68 Near Robinson, Kidder County 7/2/2001  
1) i.d. 1) Accepted
2) nest 2) Accepted
Henslow’s Sparrow Feb-79 Near Steele, Kidder County 6/27/2002 Accepted
Hooded Warbler Feb-74 Hettinger, Adams County 9/20/1988 Accepted
Hooded Warbler Feb-87 Fargo, Cass County 5/6/1993 Accepted
Hooded Warbler Feb-90 Fargo, Cass County 5/1/1993 Accepted
Hooded Warbler 1-Feb Fargo, Cass County 5/15/1996 Rejected
Iceland Gull Feb-64 Garrison Dam, Mercer County 12/16/2001 Accepted
Lesser Black-backed Gull Feb-57 Dickinson, Stark County 4/16/2002 Accepted
Lesser Black-backed Gull Feb-58 Minot, Ward County 4/20/2002 Accepted
Lesser Black-backed Gull 22-Feb Garrison Dam, Mercer County 12/16/1990 Accepted
Little Blue Heron Feb-43 Dewald Slough, Kidder County 8/26/1996 Rejected
Loggerhead Shrike 02-102 Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Burleigh County 12/22/1992 Accepted
Loggerhead Shrike 26-Feb Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge, Stutsman County 1/9/1996 Accepted
Long-tailed Duck Feb-70 Sibley Lake, Kidder County 6/17/1992 Accepted
Long-tailed Jaeger Feb-44 Lake Etta, Kidder County Aug-96 Accepted
Mew Gull Feb-62 Garrison Dam, Mercer County 11/17/2001 Accepted
Mountain Chickadee Feb-34 Hazen, Mercer County Fall 1997 Rejected
Northern Hawk-owl Feb-35 Blooming Township, Grand Forks County 12/27/1996 Accepted
Northern Wheatear 16-Feb Fargo, Cass County 11/9/1994 Rejected
Parasitic Jaeger Feb-48 Lake Darling, Renville County 7/17/1997 Rejected
Parasitic Jaeger Feb-93 Long Lake NWR, Burleigh County 9/24/2002 Accepted
Pine Warbler Feb-89 Fargo, Cass County 8/4/1990 Accepted
Pine Warbler 23-Feb Fargo, Cass County 05/25/19?? Rejected
Pinyon Jay 02-101 Hettinger, Adams County 10/10/1992 Accepted
Prothonotary Warbler Feb-54 Minot, Ward County 5/23/1987 Accepted
Prothonotary Warbler Feb-56 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 5/22/1991 Accepted
Prothonotary Warbler 2-Feb Fargo, Cass County 10/11/1996 Accepted
Pygmy Nuthatch 4-Feb Fargo, Cass County 10/23/1996 Accepted
Red Phalarope Feb-38 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 10/9/1998 Accepted
Red-shouldered Hawk Feb-33 Sully’s Hill NWR, Benson County 5/2/1998 Accepted
Ruff Feb-97 Fargo, Cass County 7/9/1989 Accepted
Sabine’s Gull Feb-37 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 9/21/1998 Accepted
Sabine’s Gull 14-Feb Bowman Haley Reservoir, Bowman County 9/20/1986 Accepted
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Feb-45 Stark County 10/23/1998 Accepted
Selasphorus Hummingbird Feb-63 Dickinson, Stark County 9/3/2001 Accepted
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Jan-36 Sheyenne National Grassland, Richland County 8/25/1994 Rejected
Snowy Plover Feb-65 Near Dewald’s Slough, Kidder County 5/26/2002 Accepted
Snowy Plover 12-Feb Near Napoleon, Logan County 5/20/1935 Accepted
Summer Tanager 02-107 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 5/28/1985 Accepted
Summer Tanager 02-108 Fargo, Cass County 5/17/1985 Accepted
Summer Tanager Feb-29 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 5/18/1996 Rejected
Thayer’s Gull 17-Feb West Fargo, Cass County 4/13/1996 Accepted
Tricolored Heron 02-109 Kelly’s Slough, Grand Forks County 5/20/1993 Accepted
Tricolored Heron Feb-94 Near Niobe, Burke County 5/17/1982 Accepted
Tricolored Heron 10-Feb Alkaline Lake, Kidder County 5/27/1984 Accepted
Trumpeter Swan Feb-40 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 10/21/1998 Accepted
Trumpeter Swan Feb-78 Lake Borg, Sargent County 8/7/2002 Accepted
Trumpeter Swan Feb-80 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 5/17/2002 Accepted
Turkey Vulture Feb-36 Near Wyndmere, Richland County 1/27/1997 Rejected
Western Bluebird 02-105 South Unit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Billings County 5/22/1977 Accepted
Western Bluebird 02-106 Bismarck, Burleigh County 10/15/1988 Rejected
Western Bluebird Feb-49 Near Pingree, Stutsman County 10/28/1996 Rejected
Western Sandpiper Feb-96 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 9/26/1992 Accepted
Western Tanager Feb-46 Dickinson, Stark County 5/19/1995 Accepted
Western Tanager Feb-71 Dunn County Early June 1986 Accepted
Western Tanager 7-Feb Fargo, Cass County 5/29/1997 Accepted
Western Tanager 21-Feb Minot Air Force Base, Ward County 5/25/1995 Accepted
Western Tanager 28-Feb Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 5/18/1996 Accepted
Whimbrel Feb-39 Grand Forks, Grand Forks County 9/24/1998 Accepted
White-tailed Kite Feb-50 Near South Heart, Stark County 6/1/1997 Rejected
Worm-eating Warbler Jan-32 Fort Ransom, Ransom County 5/23/1998 Rejected
Worm-eating Warbler Feb-67 Sheyenne National Grassland, Richland County 5/23/2002 Accepted
Worm-eating Warbler Feb-91 Fargo, Cass County 5/9/1993 Accepted
Worm-eating Warbler Feb-92 Larimore Dam, Grand Forks County 5/18/1992 Rejected
Worm-eating Warbler 27-Feb New Town, Mountrail County 10/24/1995 Accepted
Yellow-throated Warbler Feb-60 Fargo, Cass County 4/25/2002 Accepted

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