Arizona Bird Committee

Documenting Arizona's Birds

Arizona Bird Committee Bylaws 2019


A. Name. The official name of this organization shall be the "Arizona Bird Committee" hereafter referred to as "A.B.C."


A. Validate records of selected birds from the State of Arizona, including, but not limited to, all such records submitted for publication to any official journal or checklist.

B. Maintain permanently the original bird records and all Committee votes and comments for use by future bird students.

C. Publish at least minimal data on all records receiving a decision.

D. Provide a means by which sight records can gain universal acceptance as valuable scientific data.

E. Increase knowledge of the birds of Arizona.

F. Establish standards of observation and reporting against which field observers may compare their own techniques.

G. Keep or cause to keep the official Arizona State Bird List.


A. The committee shall consist of eight members.

B. A member of the A.B.C. shall serve a four-year term beginning January 1 and ending December 31.

C. After serving a four-year term, committee members will rotate off of the committee and must remain off of the committee for a period of at least one calendar year before he or she can be nominated for another four-year term.

D. There is no limit to the number of four-year terms that an individual can serve.

E. Each year two of the eight A.B.C. members will rotate off of the committee. These two will always be the two members with the most seniority.

F. Each year two new members will be elected to the A.B.C., bringing the total number of committee members back to eight.

G. At every meeting of the A.B.C., six voting members shall constitute a quorum. Members may video call in if unable to physically attend the meeting, though they are encouraged to attend in person. If a member is unable to attend a meeting or call in they may indicate to the Secretary or Assistant Secretary their votes prior to the meeting and deem them a proxy.

H. Members may request that the Chair and/or Secretary hold a video or telephone conference to discuss controversial records or urgent matters if deemed necessary before the annual meeting.

I. The A.B.C. is committed to electing members from a diversity of backgrounds and from locations around Arizona.


A. Election of new committee members may take place during the annual meeting of the A.B.C., or via a vote conducted by the Secretary or Assistant Secretary via email or other means of communication.

B. All committee members may nominate one person for membership on the A.B.C. This process will take place by at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting or designated vote. Members shall nominate persons willing and able to serve on the A.B.C.

C. The Secretary or Assistant Secretary will compile the list of nominees and provide this list to all committee members in advance of the annual meeting or designated vote.

D. The merits of all the nominees will be discussed openly.

E. If there are only two nominees, and these are acceptable to the existing committee, then these two nominees will automatically be elected to the A.B.C., and no vote is needed.

F. If more than two candidates are nominated to fill the two vacant slots, then a vote is needed. This vote will be by secret ballot to the Secretary or Assistant Secretary. All committee members will vote for two new members, and the two nominees with the most votes will be elected to the committee. In the event of a tie, there will be a run-off election for those nominees that tied.

G. Nominees should be able and willing to vote on records in a timely manner and be able to attend the annual meeting, whether that is in person or by video conference call.

H. If a member of the committee is considered extremely delinquent or unable to fulfill their role they may be voted off the committee by a unanimous vote by the rest of the committee and an emergency election may be held for a new voting member to fulfill the rest of the term.

I. Where a voting member rotates off the committee without voting on all assigned records, or is removed from the committee without voting on assigned records, the Secretary has the discretion to assign any outstanding records to a new voting member.


A. The Secretary is appointed by seven votes of approval of the committee members.

B. The Secretary is eligible to serve an unlimited number of years, subject to an annual review by the committee.

C. The Secretary shall coordinate and maintain the circulation of bird reports among the committee members.

D. The Secretary shall organize and preside over an annual meeting, and any additional in-person, telephone, or videoconference meetings.

E. The Secretary and/or any committee member shall prepare the reports of accepted and rejected records, and submit these reports for publication to Western Birds, or another appropriate journal if this journal is unavailable. The report shall be reviewed by the members of the A.B.C. before it is submitted for publication.

F. The Secretary shall keep a file including copies of all records that have been considered by the A.B.C.

G. An Assistant Secretary may be appointed by the Secretary to help with the annual meeting and/or voting of new members. The Assistant Secretary is elected by a majority vote and is eligible to serve unlimited number of years, subject to an annual review by the committee.

H. The Secretary and Assistant Secretary may or may not be voting members, subject to the same election procedures and term limits as other voting members. 

I. If the Secretary or Assistant Secretary is considered extremely delinquent or unable to fulfill their role they may be removed from their position.  Where the Secretary or Assistant Secretary is a voting member of the committee, such removal will require a unanimous vote by the rest of the committee.  Where the Secretary or Assistant Secretary is not a voting member of the committee such removal will require a unanimous vote by the committee.  Where the Secretary is removed, an emergency election conducted by the Chairperson may be held for a new Secretary. Where the Assistant Secretary is removed, the Secretary may appoint a new Assistant Secretary.


A. The committee members may appoint a Chairperson to assist the Secretary with certain duties, which may include, but are not limited to, encouraging the submission of records, encouraging the review of records, coordinating the scheduling of meetings, and serving as a liaison with committee members and the general public. 

B. The Chairperson must be an active voting member and will be appointed based upon a majority vote of the committee members, subject to an annual review by the committee.

C. The Chairperson may serve an unlimited term, so long as the Chairperson an active voting member.

D. In the absence of a Chairperson, any duties delegated by the Secretary to the Chairperson will revert to the Secretary.


A. Committee members will vote on each record being circulated around the committee. The Secretary will circulate records to the committee members electronically for each record to be voted on by each committee member.

B. A record is accepted by the A.B.C. if the record receives unanimous approval or one dissenting vote and there are no requests for recirculation. If a record receives no accept votes or only one vote to accept and there are no requests for recirculation the record will be considered Not Accepted.

C. A record that receives two or more "dissenting" votes will be recirculated around the committee for a second round of voting. This is to ensure that every committee member has the opportunity to view all of the comments, particularly on controversial records, and then have the opportunity to vote again. If after the second round a record still has two or more negative votes, then it is rejected by the committee.

D. Committee members will record their votes where provided with the individual record. Each committee member shall vote "Accept" or "Non-Accept" for each record. Committee members are also encouraged to include at least brief comments along with their vote, particularly on records that they vote "Non-Accept" on. These comments will be valuable if and when a record is recirculated.

E. Each committee member is encouraged to vote on records within three weeks (and if possible sooner) of circulation.

F. At any time during the first round of voting, a committee member may request that a record be recirculated or brought to a meeting for further discussion.

G. In the event that a committee member believes that there is new and substantial evidence related to any previously decided record, the committee member may nominate the record to the Secretary to be re-submitted. The Secretary will query the committee members to vote on the question of re-submission of the record. If a majority of the committee members agree that there is new and substantial evidence, the Secretary will submit the record for ordinary review.


A. The A.B.C. shall use the American Birding Association (ABA) Checklist Committee Guidelines for established exotics as the standard for accepting exotics onto the Arizona State List.

B. The A.B.C. shall follow American Ornithological Society (AOS) taxonomy in keeping the state list and in published reports.

C. The Secretary will publish an updated Official State List twice per year, in January, following the annual A.B.C. committee meeting, and in July, following the annual AOS checklist update, to add or remove species from the Official State List, and to reflect any changes in taxonomy. 

D. The Secretary will immediately notify the ABA Checklist Committee chairperson of acceptance onto the Official State List of any ABA area first records.



A. A species with thirty (30) or more accepted records will be evaluated at the annual meeting for removal from the ABC Review List.

B. A yes vote from at least six (6) voting members is needed to remove a species from the review list.

C. Any species newly added to the Arizona state list will automatically be added to the review list, excluding non-native species or those added to the state list based on a taxonomic change.

D. Once removed from the review list, any species may be added back to the review list at the annual meeting with a vote of approval from at least six (6) voting members.

E. The A.B.C. may wish to review subspecies in the same manner as species. The committee shall decide on a case by case basis if it wishes to review subspecies that qualify for the review list.


A: The A.B.C may wish to revise these Bylaws and may do so by unanimous vote.


2007: Full committee voted to adopt ABA guidelines for accepting an established introduced exotic.

2011: Full committee voted to revise guidelines for review list.

2018: The 2017 committee agreed to fully revise the bylaws. Changes were made by subcommittee and accepted by the 2018 committee.


2019: The 2018 committee made additional revisions to the bylaws.  Changes were made by subcommittee and accepted by the 2019 committee.