The Prothonotary


Since 1935 the Society publication, The Prothonotary, has provided a monthly summary of regional bird activity, relevant weather and a list of noteworthy records together with articles, field trip reports, and meetings and field trip schedules.

The Prothonotary is published monthly but the Buffalo Ornithological Society, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo NY 14211.  Send subscriptions and address changes to the Corresponding Secretary, Karen Landau, S-9195 State Road, Colden, NY 14033.  The regular subscription rate is $20/year.  Back issues are available from the Treasurer for $1.50/issue.

Ed. Consultants:    
Jack Skalicky
25 Presidents Walk 
Williamsville, NY 14221
Robert Andrle
Gerry Rising
Bill Watson
Audrey Horbett
Eileen Hull  
Seasonal Checklist of the Birds 
The Niagara Frontier Region
Please contact Tom O'Donnell $3.00 payable to BOS.  


BOS Field Checklist
A PDF version can be downloaded |   Front Page | Back Page |
(you need Adobe Acrobat to view pdf files) 
1998 Edition
Verification Date Guide
A PDF version can be downloaded from | HERE |
(you need Adobe Acrobat to view pdf files) 



In 1955, the Buffalo Ornithological Society adopted a formal verification system by which the sight records of its members could achieve a more scientific status.  This system included a request that members accompany their reports of unusual sightings with detailed written statements so that these reports could be carefully evaluated by the Statisticians and become a part of the permanent records of the Society.  When such a system was contemplated, the question immediately arose as to what constituted an unusual sight record.  some persons recognized rarities of geography - birds from some other part of the continent or the world.  There were also rarities of time - later or early migrants, summer stragglers, and birds in other categories which provide as much excitement (and perhaps more scientific value) and which are less easily recognized than the "true rarities."  obviously, even the most experienced birder could not remember the vast amount of available data regarding the status of each species within the Buffalo Ornithological Society area.   

Therefore, as a sort of rule book as to which observations required detailed written reports and which did not, the Date Guide was created as a part of the verification system.  publication of Clark S. Beardslee and Harold D. Mitchell's Birds of the Niagara Frontier Region - An annotated Check-list in 1965 and is supplement (1970) centralized and added to previous information. 

During the years that the verification system has been in operation, several revisions have been made to the Date Guide.  as evidenced by the content of the written reports submitted by members and friends of the Buffalo Ornithological Society, the pattern of occurrence of many bird species in our area is far from static.  These reports not only increase the reliability of sight records, but also can indicate that an adjustment of the dates and status of some species should be made periodically.  Changes have also been necessitated by revisions of English and scientific bird names and taxonomic order by the American Ornithologists' Union (A.O.U.) to its Check-list of North American Birds (1998).

An ad-hoc committee of the Buffalo Ornithological Society met in 1998 to institute the latest changes in the Date Guide.  This Seventh Edition is the result of the Deliberations of that committee and is based on the Buffalo Ornithological Society permanent record file of bird verification reports up to December 31, 1997, and on A.O.U. revisions.  responsibility for the accuracy of this publication and for the judgments made in its preparation rest entirely with the committee.

Michael M. Morgante, Chairman
Robert F. Andrle
Robert W. Brock
William C. D'Anna
Frances M. Rew
David F. Suggs
Joseph F. Thill
William W. Watson
May 1998  

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