ABA Area Introduced Species

One of the questions the RSEC receives most frequently is about which populations of introduced species may be counted in the ABA Area.

Version 2020 of the ABA Recording Rules and Interpretations has updated Rule 2.B(v) to help clarify the answer to this question. Previously, the rule said that a bird is countable if from a population that met the ABA Checklist Committee’s Criteria for Determining Establishment of Exotics. However, the RSEC recognizes that criterion #8—which states that a publication must document the first seven criteria—would rarely be met for established populations that were not the basis for the initial addition of an introduced species to the Checklist. Therefore, Rule 2.B(v) now says that only the first seven criteria are required for a population to be countable.

Perhaps the best indicator of a countable population is whether it meets criterion #6, which reads:

The population has been present for at least 15 years. Previous CLC criteria used a 10-year persistence threshold. As we have seen with several exotics, 10 years is an insufficient period to judge the likelihood that an exotic will persist. Accordingly, we have increased the persistence criteria to 15 years. The CLC readily acknowledges that 15 years may also be insufficient in some cases to determine establishment; populations of many exotics follow a “boom and bust” cycle over several decades—the population of Crested Mynas at Vancouver became extirpated more than 100 years after its introduction. With long-lived species (e.g.,  Amazona parrots) or when gamebird populations are regularly subsidized, one could argue that persistence should be for 30 or more years for genuine trends in the population to become obvious. Our point here is that like numerical criteria, no simple formula of the number of years for persistence can apply to all species. Flexible persistence criteria (“at least 15 years”) and lack of numerical criteria will allow Committee members to exercise their own judgment in potentially uncertain or controversial cases, but only in the context of strong biological evidence and with the intention that the final judgment be a conservative one.

To help birders decide where they may count introduced species, we have compiled a list of populations of introduced species on the ABA Checklist that have been present for at least 15 years (as of 2020) and appear to meet the other criteria for being considered established.. Your life list is your own, of course, but the current RSEC position is that birds from any of the populations listed below may be counted by birders wishing to do so.

Please note that this list of countable populations may not be exhaustive and is subject to deletions and additions based on any updated understanding. The RSEC welcomes feedback on this list as well: [email protected].

Introduced Species

Current Countable Populations

Mute SwanQC to NC to MN
Southwestern BC
Austin region (TX)
Egyptian GooseFlorida
Los Angeles region (CA)
Central Texas
Bentonville region (AR)
Muscovy DuckFlorida
Laysan DuckMidway Atoll (HI)
MallardHawaii (all major islands)
Plain ChachalacaSapelo Island (GA)
Mountain QuailMason & Kitsap counties (WA)
WA/OR/ID border region
California QuailOR to BC to UT
Springerville region (AZ)
Hawaii (all but Kauai)
Gambel’s QuailSan Clemente Island (CA)
Lemhi County (ID)
Hawaii (Big Island)
Wild TurkeyHawaii (Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Molokai)
Many areas of southern Canada, northern & western U.S.
Gray PartridgeWI to OR to Alberta
Prince Edward Island
Far east Ontario & southern Quebec
Ring-necked PheasantSouthern Canada and most of U.S. (except Southeast)
Kenai Peninsula (AK)
Hawaii (all major islands)
Kalij PheasantHawaii (Big Island and Oahu)
Indian PeafowlHawaii (Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai)
Los Angeles region (CA)
Gray FrancolinHawaii (all major islands)
Black FrancolinHawaii (all major islands)
Red JunglefowlHawaii (all major islands)
Fitzgerald (GA)
Key West (FL)
Himalayan SnowcockRuby Mountains (NV)
ChukarCO to CA to BC
Hawaii (all but Oahu)
Erckel’s FrancolinHawaii (Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai)
Chestnut-bellied SandgrouseHawaii (Big Island)
Rock PigeonABA Area
Eurasian Collared-DoveABA Area
Spotted DoveLos Angeles region (CA)
Bakersfield region (CA)
Fresno region (CA)
Hawaii (all major islands)
Mourning DoveHawaii (Big Island, Maui, Oahu)
Zebra DoveHawaii (all major islands)
Purple SwamphenFlorida
Cattle EgretHawaii (all major islands)
Barn OwlHawaii (all major islands)
Monk ParakeetFlorida
Houston region (TX)
New Orleans region (LA)
Dallas-Fort Worth region (TX)
Austin region (TX)
San Antonio region (TX)
Chicago region (IL & IN)
New York City and southwest CT region
Phoenix region (AZ)
Nanday ParakeetFlorida
Los Angeles region (CA)
Green ParakeetLower Rio Grande Valley region (TX)
White-winged ParakeetMiami region (FL)
Yellow-chevroned ParakeetMiami region (FL)
Los Angeles region (CA)
Red-crowned ParrotLower Rio Grande Valley region (TX)
Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach region (FL)
Los Angeles region (CA)
San Diego region (CA)
Oahu (HI)
Rose-ringed ParakeetHawaii (Oahu, Kauai)
Los Angeles region (CA)
Bakersfield region (CA)
Naples region (FL)
Rosy-faced LovebirdPhoenix region (AZ)
Eurasian SkylarkSE Vancouver Island
Hawaii (all major islands)
Red-vented BulbulOahu (HI)
Houston region (TX)
Red-whiskered BulbulKendall region (FL)
Los Angeles region (CA)
Oahu (HI)
Japanese Bush-WarblerHawaii (all major islands)
Warbling White-eyeHawaii (all major islands)
Greater Necklaced LaughingthrushKauai (HI)
HwameiHawaii (Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai)
Red-billed LeiothrixHawaii (Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu)
White-rumped ShamaHawaii (Oahu, Kauai, Molokai)
Northern MockingbirdHawaii (all major islands)
European StarlingABA Area
Common MynaHawaii (all major islands)
South FL
Common WaxbillHawaii (Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai)
Red AvadavatHawaii (Big Island, Oahu, Kauai)
African SilverbillHawaii (all major islands)
Java SparrowHawaii (all major islands)
Scaly-breasted MuniaCA coast region
Houston region (TX)
Kendall region (FL)
Pensacola region (FL)
Hawaii (all major islands)
Chestnut MuniaHawaii (Oahu, Maui, Kauai)
House SparrowABA Area
Eurasian Tree SparrowWestern IL & eastern IA/MO region
House FinchHawaii (all major islands)
Yellow-fronted CanaryHawaii (Big Island, Oahu)
Island CanaryMidway Atoll (HI)
Western MeadowlarkKauai (HI)
Spot-breasted OrioleMiami region (FL)
Northern CardinalLos Angeles region (CA)
Hawaii (all major islands)
Red-crested CardinalHawaii (all but Big Island)
Yellow-billed CardinalHawaii (Big Island)
Saffron FinchHawaii (Big Island, Oahu, Kauai)
Yellow-faced GrassquitOahu (HI)

Updated October 26, 2020