Procedural Rules of the Kansas Ornithological Society's 

Links to sections below
I. Name and Affiliation II. Purposes III. Membership IV. Meetings V. Bird Records

I. Name and Affiliation

A. Name. The official name of this committee shall be the "Kansas Bird Records Committee" and is hereafter referred to as the "Committee."

B. Affiliation. This is a committee of the society known as the "Kansas Ornithological Society." The Committee is established under the auspices of the Kansas Ornithological Society (hereafter, "KOS"), as approved by their Board of Directors.

II. Purposes

A. Evaluate reports of rare or unusual bird sightings from the state of Kansas.

B. Maintain those original bird records and all Committee votes and comments for the use of any future bird students or enthusiasts.

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

D. Incorporate all records of the Committee and revise and publish, as appropriate, the official KOS Checklist of Birds of Kansas.

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

F. Establish standards of observation and reporting for improving the quality and quantity of our knowledge of Kansas birds.

G. Maintain a list of species requiring documentation and KBRC review.

III. Membership

A. Number and Definitions. The Committee shall consist of seven regular voting members (one of whom is the "Chairperson", up to two alternate members, and a secretary, who may also, if elected, be a regular voting member or an alternate member.

B. Qualifications. Committee members should possess expertise in identification of Kansas birds, knowledge of Kansas bird distribution, and familiarity with birders and localities in Kansas. Committee members shall be members of KOS.

C. Members

  1.  Nominations. Nominations for election to the Kansas Bird Records Committee shall be accepted (up to one week prior to the annual meeting) from serving Committee members.
  2. Election and Term of Office. The Kansas Bird Records Committee shall elect, subject to approval by the KOS Board of Directors, the seven members to terms of four years each. Members will be elected to designated slots on the committee, i.e. position #1, position #2, etc. Elections shall be staggered, two annually, in order to maintain continuity. The stagger is as follows: 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7. Members of the Committee will be allowed to serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms (eight years total). Current members, when running for re-election to their second term, shall run in full competition with other nominees. When standing members are re-elected, they retain the position number they were first elected to. After a one-year or longer absence from the Committee each member shall become eligible to serve again, with the same two-term restriction. There shall be no limit on the number of separate eight-year periods that any one person may serve on the Committee. Alternates serve four year terms and are not limited to how many consecutive terms they may serve. Alternates serve in the same cycle as Positions 1/2 of the regular members. Alternate members are selected and appointed in the same manner as regular members of the committee.New members take office at the beginning of the annual KOS spring meeting.
  3. Duties. Vote on bird records and in all elections. Alternates may only vote on records submitted by current KBRC members.

D. Chairperson

1.     Election and Term of Office. The Chairperson must be a regular voting member of the Committee. The Chairperson shall be elected for a term to serve until the end of their current committee term, no more than four years, by a vote of the members of the Committee, at the annual winter meeting of the KBRC. If the chairperson is elected to a second term, as a Committee member, there shall be another vote for chairperson. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes shall be elected; a tie shall be decided by an additional ballot listing only those persons tied. The Chairperson takes office at the beginning of the annual KOS spring meeting. The position has the same restrictions on terms served as does that of a regular member.

2.     Duties

a.     Call and preside at Committee meetings.

b.     Vote on bird records and in all elections.

c.     Appoint subcommittees as needed.

d.     Assure that the current Procedural Rules are properly applied.

e.     Should the Secretary be unable to serve, the Chairperson shall act as Secretary in all respects.

E. Secretary

1.     Election and Term of Office. The Secretary shall be elected as a separate, non-voting position, but the occupant may also be a regular voting member of the Committee or an alternate. The Secretary shall be elected for a term of four years by a vote of the members of the Committee, at the annual winter meeting of the KBRC. The position shall be voted on every time the term comes up for appointment. There shall be no limit to the number of terms the Secretary may serve, but any concurrent service in other capacities shall be subject to the standard rules for those positions, including duties and term limits.

2.     Duties

a.     Receive, circulate, re-circulate, file, and maintain all bird records and supporting data submitted to the Committee. Maintain a set of records, either physical or digital for future reference. This archive should include duplicates, digital or otherwise, of paper documentation, sketches, photographs and videos submitted to the committee as part of a rare bird report. The exact mode of archival storage (e.g. CD-ROM or other computer-readable disk, video tape, paper copies) will be periodically re-evaluated in order to assure that it remains readily accessible for future committee members and others who will have a need to review these data.

b.     Notify individuals submitting records that the record has been received. Notify submitters of the outcome of their record prior to publication of the Annual Report in the KOS Bulletin.

c.     If a voting member, vote on bird records and in all elections.

d.     Tabulate results of all votes of the Committee, including votes on bird records, excepting the election of the Secretary.

e.     Keep or cause to keep minutes of Committee meetings.

f.      Furnish to anyone, upon request, any accepted or rejected bird record with all evidence, including Committee comments.

g.     Produce an Annual Report of the Committee's decisions and submit it for publication to the editor of the KOS Bulletin.

F. Removals. The Committee may remove, for cause, any regular voting member, alternate member, or secretary who is delinquent in their duties. Such action requires a super-majority vote of all eligible voting members, i.e., 5-1 or 6-0, for removal. Eligibility to vote in such matters shall follow the same rules as all other voting by the Committee, with the exception that the member subject to potential removal shall be recused from the vote. A removal must be accomplished by written ballot either by mail or at a meeting of the Committee. An absent member may vote by supplying a written ballot to the Committee.

G. Vacancies and Special Elections. Should a vacancy occur before the expiration of any member's term, or alternate member's, the Chairperson of the Committee, in consultation with the remaining members, shall immediately appoint a replacement to complete that term.  Should a vacancy occur in either the Chairperson's or Secretary's position before the expiration of that person's term, the Chairperson or the Secretary, as the case may be, shall immediately call a special election for the limited purpose of electing a new Chairperson or Secretary.  Members in good standing shall be eligible to vote at a special election; voting may occur either in person at a convened meeting, or electronically, at the discretion of the Chairperson or the Secretary.

If a current member is specially elected as Chairperson, the term of that position shall be the same as for which that current member was originally elected, subject to the provisions of Section III.C.1 of these Bylaws.  If a member is specially elected as Chairperson, that member shall in turn immediately appoint a replacement member in accordance with the provisions of this Section.

IV. Meetings

A. Annual Meeting. An annual meeting of the Committee should be held before the winter KOS Board meeting when possible. The purpose of this meeting shall be to conduct any elections, arrive at decisions on indecisive votes, and such other business as may be brought before the Committee. The Secretary must give prior notice of the annual meeting to all members.

B. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Committee may be called by the Chairperson, by agreement of five or more members, or in the Chairperson's absence by the Secretary.

C. Quorum. Five voting members present at the meeting, not by proxy, shall constitute a quorum for any meeting of the Committee. Any meeting of the Committee is not considered "valid" unless it has a quorum present.

D. Electronic Meetings. Anytime the Chairman or the Secretary decides a meeting is necessary they can be convened electronically for the Committee including annual meeting or special votes. All Committee members need to take part in the discussion and a resolution met within thirty (30) days.

V. Rules

A. Formation. The Procedural Rules of the Committee are to be determined by the Committee, upon approval by the KOS Board of Directors provided that they do not conflict with the KOS bylaws.

B. Changes. These rules may be changed by a majority vote of the voting members of the Committee, becoming effective upon approval by the KOS Board of Directors.

VI. Bird Records

A. Records Treated. Species requiring documentation shall be reviewed periodically by the Committee to assess their status. All species designated with an asterisk (*) on the latest edition of the KOS Checklist of Birds of Kansas shall require documentation. Furthermore, any species not listed on the Checklist shall require documentation. In addition, any species occurring on the Checklist but seen at an unusual time of year (e.g., Cape May Warbler in December) or at an unusual location (e.g., Canyon Towhee outside the southwestern corner of the state) shall require documentation. Such species and annotations shall be maintained by the KBRC on the KOS website.

B. Submission. Records should be submitted on the Committee's Official Report Form by paper, e-mail, via the web submission form, or as an eBird checklist. Report forms shall be readily available from the Secretary and on the KBRC webpage.

C. Resubmissions. A record that has received a final Committee decision, whether accepted or rejected and even though published as such, may be resubmitted by anyone if there becomes available new and substantial evidence that might reverse that decision. Furthermore, records involving taxa that have since undergone taxonomic revision by the American Ornithologists' Union may be resubmitted to determine the status of any changed taxa. Any resubmitted record shall be circulated with all previous votes, Committee comments, publication status, and all new evidence marked as such.

D. Circulation Procedures.

1.     Initial Receipt by Secretary. Upon receipt of a record, the Secretary shall do the following:

a.     Give the record a unique number, consisting of the year of receipt (not the year of sighting) followed by a hyphen and the next unused number, starting with "01," for each calendar year.

b.     Judge the record's validity and vote on it.

c.     Send the record to the other voting members and alternate members.

d.     Records will be circulated at least every six months. Nothing will preclude the secretary from circulating records more often if record submission volume is high.

2.     Receipt by Member. Upon receipt of a record, the member shall do the following:

a.     Judge the record's validity and vote on it.

b.     Send the completed validation form to the Secretary within 30 days of receipt.

c.    Alternate members will review all the records but only vote on records submitted by voting members of the committee, as directed by the secretary.

3.     Recirculation.

a.     If a non-decisive vote is obtained during the initial circulation, the Secretary shall recirculate the record, with all comments from the first round of voting included, within one month of the end of the initial voting period. (See section VI.E.9 for the definition of decisive and non-decisive votes.) Any non-decisive vote can also be discussed at a meeting of the committee after the initial circulation but before a second circulation has occurred.

b.     If, after the second circulation, the record still has not received a decisive vote, it shall be kept by the Secretary until it can be discussed at a meeting of the Committee.

c.     Regardless of whether a decisive vote was obtained during the first circulation, the Secretary may recirculate a record if they feel the Committee's comments might alter the decision.

E. Voting and Acceptance Criteria.

1.     Validation Form. The vote of each member together with their comments, if any, must be submitted to the Secretary the voting form. This form must include (a) record number, (b) name of the species, (c) name of the observer, (d) signature of the voting Committee member, (e) date of the vote, (f) number of the circulation round, (g) member's vote, and (h) comments. This form can be submitted by the member electronically or in print.

2.     Voting Categories:

a.     Accept.

b.     Reject, origin questionable.

c.     Reject, identification questionable.

d.     Reject, circumstances questionable.

3.     Disqualifications and Abstentions. Members may not vote on their own record submissions. Members may not abstain from voting on any other submissions.

4.     Secretary's Vote. On the first circulation, the Secretary must vote prior to circulating the record to members, if the Secretary is a regular voting member (thus without seeing other members’ votes or comments).

5.     Comments. On the first circulation a "reject/no" vote must be supported by appropriate comments. Comments must be supplied for a recirculation for either a "reject/no" or "accept/yes" vote.

6.     Consultations. On the first circulation, a member shall not discuss a record with another member until both have voted. Pre-vote consultations are encouraged among members for a recirculation. Nothing shall preclude a member from contacting an expert not serving on the committee for their insight on identification of the species under review.

7.     Voting Criteria. The criteria used by a member for acceptance or rejection of a record are based on that member's knowledge and experience and will not be specifically addressed in these rules. However, members are encouraged to accept or reject records on the basis of objective criteria such as the adequacy of the field marks reported, adequacy of eliminating similar species, or the conditions under which the observations were made (e.g., lighting, weather, optical equipment, etc.) The veracity of the observer should not normally be questioned without good cause.

8.     Tabulation. The voting results shall be tabulated by the Secretary after all members have voted. Results of the voting round should be communicated with all committee members as soon as all votes are received. Records that need to be recirculated will be sent out by the secretary within one month of the end of the initial voting round.

9.     Decisive and Non-decisive Votes. On any circulation round where the question is asked, "Should this record be accepted?":

a.     A record is considered decisively accepted if it receives six or more "yes" votes, i.e., 7-0, 6-1.

b.     A record is considered decisively rejected if it receives four or more "no" votes, i.e., 0-7, 1-6, 2-5, 3-4.

c.     A record is considered a non-decisive vote if it receives votes of 5-2 or 4-3. These records will receive mandatory review by the Committee and either be re-circulated by the Secretary or reviewed at the next annual meeting.

10.  Decisions at Meetings.

a.     Prior to each meeting, the Secretary shall inform all other voting members of any twice-circulated records still needing a final decision.

b.     Any record that has not received a decisive vote after two circulations shall be discussed and voted on at the next valid meeting of the Committee. The final decision must be made at the first valid meeting in which the record is discussed.

c.     A record shall be accepted, if at a valid meeting of the Committee, it receives five or more "yes" votes to the question "Should this record be accepted?" Any record that receives fewer than five "yes" votes is rejected. Proxies shall not be allowed as votes.

11.  First State Records. Some form of physical documentation shall be required for the acceptance of the first record of a species' occurrence in Kansas. Acceptable evidence could consist of photographs, sound recordings, specimens, verified band numbers, etc. First state record submissions, that involve only a sight record (regardless of the number of observers), may be accepted as "hypothetical" and added to the KOS Checklist of Birds of Kansas as such. Species shall remain on the hypothetical list until the Committee receives physical evidence upgrading them to regular status.

F. Publication.

1.     The decisions of the Committee shall be published annually, in the form of an Annual Report, in the KOS Bulletin.

2.     The published data for accepted records shall include at least the name of the species, date(s) of observation, locality, reporting observer(s), and type of evidence supporting the record, e.g., specimen, photograph, sound recording, or sight only.

3.     Rejected records shall also be published, with a minimum of the above data, except that the observer's name shall not be included. Also the reason for rejection shall be listed in accordance with the voting categories mentioned in section VI.E.2.

Drafted by the KBRC and adopted by the KOS Board of Directors - 6 October 1990

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board - 3 October 1992

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board - 26 February 1994

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board - 5 October 2002

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board - 27 September 2012

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board – 7 May 2016

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board – 4 February 2017

Amended by the KBRC and approved by the KOS Board – 19 June 2022

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