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Swiss Rarities Committee

Recording of sightings of rare birds

The Swiss Rarities Committee is a group of independent experts who verify sightings of rare birds in Switzerland on a voluntary basis. The office is run by the Swiss Ornithological Institute.

Domain Research
Unit Monitoring
Topic Population Development, Migratory Birds
Habitat settlements, rivers & streams, forest, alpine habitats, meadows and pastures, semi-open farmland, rocky terrain, wasteland, farmland, wetlands
Project start 1973
Project status ongoing
Project management Bernard Volet
Project region Switzerland


Project objectives

The main task of the Swiss Rarities Committee (Swiss RC) is to verify if unusual bird sightings are sufficiently documented to be cited in scientific literature. The species concerned are either those that occur rarely in Switzerland or more common species that are sighted at an unusual time or in an unusual place or are nesting in Switzerland for the first time. The Swiss RC maintains the list of species considered by the SRC as well as the official checklist of the birds of Switzerland.


Unusual bird sightings must be documented with a detailed description of the bird and the circumstances of the sighting. Photographic evidence or sound recordings are very useful in supporting identification. Based on the documentation provided, the Swiss RC examines each piece of data relating to species on the list of sightings to be recorded and validates properly documented sightings.


The work of the Swiss RC ensures that data relating to the sightings of rare birds used in analyses are properly documented.


The recorded data is published each year in French in the journal Nos Oiseaux and in Germany in the journal Ornithologischer Beobachter.

Further information

The Swiss Rarities Committee belongs to the Association of European Records and Rarities Committees, AERC

It is currently composed of (year role taken up):
Fabian Schneider (2014)
Lionel Maumary (2014)
Jonas Landolt (2021)
Manuel Schweizer (2022)
Mathieu Bally (2022)
Samuel Büttler (2023)
Bernard Volet (Secretary)



Other resources
Various documents
Various SRC documents
Monitoring link


We monitor the distribution and populations of birds throughout the country.

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