Pelagic boundaries change, now include inland lakes

From the DVOC mailing-“Rule change – Beginning today, any bird seen on or over “any body of water” within 50 miles of the political boundary of a state can be counted for that state. The term “any body of water” includes offshore waters, inshore waters, lakes, ponds, rivers, etc.

Comments by the committees

– The committees are aware that the ramifications of this change will be monumental. While this will certainly change offshore pelagic listing, it will have a greater effect on general birding. For instance, a bird seen on or over Lilly Lake (Cape May County, NJ) could previously only be counted on a birder’s New Jersey list. But now, since Lilly Lake is “body of water” and is less than 50 miles from Delaware, a bird seen on or over Lilly Lake can now be counted on a birder’s Delaware list. In the same way a bird sighted on or over Lake Nockamixon (Buck County, PA) can now be counted on a birder’s New Jersey list. An extreme example of this rule change is that the impoundments at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum (Delaware County and Philadelphia County, PA) are in Pennsylvania and are within 50 miles of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Thus a bird seen on or over those impoundments is now countable in four states.
– The committees urge birders restrain themselves and only count a single sighting on one state’s list, but there is nothing in the new rules preventing a single sighting from being counted on multiple states lists if a birder wishes. It is up to the individual birder to determine what state or states he or she wants to use to list any particular bird when it is seen in a location where multiple states overlap.

– Obviously this change will be confusing at first but after the appropriate maps are made available, the new boundaries will be clear.

– This change takes affect today – 4/1/2008

Happy April Fool’s Day!