Hellenic Rarities Committee, photo: Lambros Logothetis
Terms of reference

The Hellenic Rarities Committee was established in December of 2004 by the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the Hellenic Bird Ringing Centre, but since then it operates independently.

Committee’s Basic Aims

The basic aims of the HRC are to monitor, record and evaluate all the observations concerning:

  • occurrence of new or rare species in Greece
  • unusually large concentrations of any species of bird
  • occurrences of species outside their normal distribution range
  • occurrences of species outside their normal season in Greece

Responsibilities of the Committee

Among the committee’s framework are:

  1. Composition of registration forms for ornithological observations
  2. Collection of all observations considered important, including those not initially disclosed to it
  3. Receiving of registration forms submitted to it and evaluating them objectively, on the basis of international literature and experience
  4. Keeping up to date with international advances made in recognition and distribution of birds, as well as in systematic taxonomy
  5. Keeping archival material of the registration forms, with all the attached data (photographs, drawings, etc)
  6. Contributing to the scientific research and study of birds, by publicizing data referring to their occurrence and distribution in Greece
  7. Informing HOS members and any other concerned of the updates regarding bird observations that increase our knowledge about Greek avifauna
  8. Informing the scientific committee of the HOS and asking its contribution and cooperation when needed, just like any other individual or organization that can contribute
  9. Processing of the bird list of Greece, which is continuously monitored, complemented and revised if necessary, based on international advances on issues of bird recognition and systematic taxonomy.

The initial list of the Committee was based on G.Handrinos and T.Akriotis’ book "The Birds of Greece", Helm, 1997, and includes 422 species that have been recorded in Greece until 31/12/1995.

Committee’s Operation

The Committee is comprised of seven coequal members. Every member’s term is initially five years, but there’s no obligation if a member wants to withdraw for any reason. In case of withdrawal, the Committee decides for every new member that will join it.

It may also, if it is desired, to increase in the future the total number of members, as long as it judges that this increase will lead to more efficient operation. The Committee keeps a number of contributors that provide constant support in its activities or act as advisors in specialized sections. With the existing sevenfold composition, a quorum is set when at least four members are present.

The Committee may ask the opinion of an expert (Greek or foreign), in case it is essential for the evaluation of an observation.

Any registration form initially rejected, may be revaluated only upon the presentation of new facts, provided by a new applicant, which will facilitate its evaluation.

The forms may look like a report composed by the observer; otherwise registration forms of the HRC must be submitted. The applicant must:

  1. Provide full description of the bird(s) and the circumstances of the observation, analyzing the identification criteria.
  2. Attach the copies of notebooks, drawings, photographs and any other available material.
  3. Name all the other co-observers, able to confirm the observation.

Updating - Communication

The Committee’s resolutions, acceptance or rejection of observations, are publicized through HRC’s and HOS’s printed and electronic media, first to the applicants and then to any other concerned.

Furthermore, in the end of each year the yearly report of HRC is published, including every resolution, acceptance or rejection, the update of the Greek bird list, and any other activity performed by HRC.

The Committee’s archive is stored temporarily in the Athens’ office of HOS and it is confidential, which means that there’s no free access. However, it can be put to the disposal of anyone concerned after authorization from the Committee, and under no other circumstance.

Communication with the Committee is through the following address: P.O. Box 3994, 102 10, Athens with the following note: the receiver should be the Hellenic Ornithological Society (which owns the P.O. Box), with the footnote "for the Hellenic Rarities Committee". There are also two e-mail addresses: and

Composition of the Committee

George Handrinos, Chairman
Nikos Probonas, Secretary
Kostas Papaconstantinou, Member
Michalis Dretakis, Member
Theodoros Kominos, Member
Apostolis Christopoulos, Member
Maria Dimaki, Member


Contributors of the Committee are: Triantafyllos Akriotis, Yiannis Tsougrakis, Didier Vangeluwe, Chris Vlachos, Eleni Galinou, Paschalis Dougalis, Takis Latsoudis, Eleni Makrygianni, Νikos Petrou, Clairie Papazoglou, Dimitris Bertzeletos and Nikos Samaritakis.

Rare birds of Greece: photo gallery

Hellenic Rarities Committee Hellenic Ornithological Society Hellenic Bird Ringing Center
Copyright © 2019 Hellenic Rarities Committee, Hellenic Ornithological Society