The Idaho Bird Records Committee functions through the volunteer time and efforts of a group of birders who are dedicated to documenting species occurrence in our state.
The genesis of the Idaho Bird Records Committee began in the mid 1980s as Daniel M. Taylor and Charles H. Trost were completing their summary of rare birds in the state with their paper “The Status of Rare Birds in Idaho. Murrelet 68:69-93. 1987”.
Previous to the late 1960s most records were from scientific journals or the two Idaho ornithology books, Thomas D. Burleigh’s well documented “Birds of Idaho, The Caxton Printers., 1972” and the more nebulous “Guide to Idaho Birds, by Earl J. Larrison, Jerry L. Tucker, and Malcom T. Jollie, Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science, Pp. 1-220, 1967”.
From the late 1960s thorough the 1990s the main guardians of bird records were the editors of the quarterly American Reports, especially Thomas H. Rogers, and the occasional publication in scientific journals. Into the 1990s there were remarkably few active birders in the state, but they were generally considered very good observers. In making the Status of Rare Bird in Idaho paper Taylor and Trost needed to decide which were valid records, and separated records into valid, sight records, hypothetical, and undocumented. State rare bird committees were then cropping up in many states and they realized a committee to review records and gather data would be helpful in determining valid and invalid records. Daniel M. Taylor solicited various bylaws from state rare bird committees and drafted the first committee bylaws. After he graduated Charles H. Trost revised these bylaws and set up the first Idaho Bird Records Committee.
This first attempt floundered in part due to the small numbers of dedicated birders in the state and the difficulty of sending various reports through traditional mail. Enter the late J. Harry Krueger.
From the original Idaho Birds website:
“The Idaho Bird Records Committee in it’s present form can be traced back to the work of J. Harry Krueger in the fall of 2004. At that time Krueger and Stacy J. Peterson collaborated to set up a website devoted to birds and birding in Idaho. The result is where you are — on IdahoBirds.net. From the IBRC perspective, Harry envisioned this website as the public link between a revitalized Committee and the general birding public. Krueger, as Committee Secretary, worked hard to increase the visibility of, and the interest in, IBRC within the birding community. He strove to share his belief in the value of accurately documented sightings and the role of IBRC with other birders. To facilitate documentation of rarities in the state, he initiated a Rare Bird Report Form that allows online documentation of species on the Review List through the website — a feature that has been well used by many birders.
Working with Committee Chair Chuck Trost, the Committee itself was also revitalized. New members were added, and the collection of reports and photographs that occurred during a period of Committee inactivity was begun.”
Harry’s influence was just the spark needed to get the committee moving. Combined with the hard work of IBRC members, notably the efforts of Chuck Trost, Shirley Sturts, and Stacy Peterson, the Idaho Bird Records Committee moved into the modern, active BRC it is today.
Tribute to J. Harry Krueger
By Louie Quintana