National (USA) Birding Hotline Cooperative

Karsten Hartel hartel at MCZ.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Jan 13 10:29:39 CST 1994

For those interested in US birds at any level I thought I pass this
information along.

Karsten E. Hartel
hartel at

----- Forwarded message begins here -----
From: Rob Scott  <rs18 at>
Wed, 12 Jan 1994 17:23:07 -0500
To: All_NBHC_Subscribers <rs18 at> (Robert Scott)
Subject: NBHC Information Sheet

>From Rob Scott, Lodi NY USA  <Rob-Scott at>
Happy New Year!  To start the year off right, I am sending along
this information sheet and list of frequently asked questions
about the NBHC lists.  If you are a new subscriber, please read
this valuable document.  If you are an NBHC veteran, there may
be a few things in here for you, too!

Every effort was made to provide only one copy of this mailing
to each unique subscriber to the NBHC lists.  If you have
subscribed to several of the lists, you should only get one copy.
Still, I am not perfect and may have a few duplications.  I also
expect that many are signed up under multiple usernames.  So bear
with me if you get more than one copy.
There are 1199 of us...
As usual, flames, comments, etc., to me.
NBHC Information Sheet- last Modified 1/12/93

Welcome to the electronic mailing lists run by the National
Birding Hotline Cooperative.  All were set up to facilitate the
sharing of information about WILD birds.

This list of Frequently Asked Questions and General
Information is posted periodically to new users and
all NBHC lists.  Please save this information sheet for
future reference.

If you are a new subscriber to this list, it is strongly
recommended that you refrain from posting for at least a week, so
that you'll have a chance to absorb the character of the lists.
After that, please do keep your postings informative.
There are a lot of us out here...

The Lists Manager, Chuck Williamson <CWilliamson at PimaCC.Pima.EDU>,
is able to handle particularly thorny problems of subscription
and unsubscription.  If you follow the instructions below and still
have problems, drop Chuck or Rob Scott <rs18 at> a line.

Please send all suggestions, comments, criticisms, and flames
to Rob Scott <rs18 at>.

List of Topics:
     The National Birding Hotline Cooperative (NBHC)
     NBHC lists available
     Signing on & Signing off
     Non-BITNET users
     Posting mechanics
   * List Etiquette
     Other information about the NBHC lists
     SET <listname> REPRO
     Getting mail from the NBHC lists less frequently
     The Birdchat Logo project

The National Birding Hotline Cooperative
     The National Birding Hotline Cooperative (NBHC) was set up
  to use the expanding medium of computing technology and
  interconnectivity to share birding information among
  North American birders.  It is a group of mirrored mail lists
  run from a machine at Arizona, ARIZVM1.  Users subscribe to the
  lists, and mail files sent to the list are reflected back to all
  subscribers.  Some lists are for general birding and bird-related
  discussions, and some are specifically for posting RBAs and
  Hotline transcriptions.

NBHC lists
     The lists (and their purposes) are as follows:

  BIRDCHAT     for discussions of wild birds and birding

  BIRDEAST     These three lists are for transcripts of
  BIRDCNTR       hotlines and RBAs ONLY!
  BIRDWEST       They're separated geographically.

  BIRDBAND     for discussion of banding and related topics
  BIRD_RBA     for discussion of the NBHC lists themselves
  BIRDTRIP     This list is used for special projects and from
                 time to time.  It is currently being used to
                 compile Christmas Bird Count data in a special

Rare Bird Alerts (RBAs)
     A Rare Bird Alert, also known as a hotline, is a recording
  with local birding information. The primary interest is in
  unusual bird sightings, but not-so-unusual sightings and other
  items of local interest, such as bird club meetings, are often
  included. The frequency of update of the recording is mostly
  weekly, sometimes more often, occasionally less through lack of
     All RBAs are run by local volunteers: sometimes by birders
  directly connected with an institute or wildlife organization,
  and sometimes by a single birder on his/her own phone number.
     Many of the tapes allow the caller to record a sighting after
  the answering machine's message. In some cases, a different phone
  number is used to leave sightings. A list of active RBAs is
  periodically posted to BIRDCHAT.
     Some hotlines are recorded and transcribed by other
  volunteers and then posted to the BIRDEAST, BIRDCNTR, and
  BIRDWEST lists.
       We are always looking for volunteers to transcribe and
                          post hotlines.

Signing up for or signing off of the lists
     To sign up to any of the lists, send a mail file to the
  address LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.BITNET with the first line of the
  message's body:
                   SUBSCRIBE <listname> Your Name
  where <listname> is the name of the NBHC list you'd like to
  subscribe to.
     For example, if I wanted to sign onto BIRDCHAT, I'd send a
  mail file to LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.bitnet and make the first line of
  the message:
                   SUBSCRIBE BIRDCHAT Rob Scott

     To sign off of any NBHC list, again send a mail file to
  LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.bitnet with the message this time:
                     UNSUBSCRIBE <listname>

e.g.:                UNSUBSCRIBE BIRDCHAT

  PLEASE NOTE-- all administrative functions relating to your
  setup should be sent to LISTSERV, *NOT* the NBHC list itself.
  If you have problems, mail me directly.  You may also write to
  the List Manager, Chuck Williamson.  His address is
  CWilliamson at PimaCC.Pima.EDU

If you're not on BITNET...
     If you're on the internet, ARIZVM1 is at the node (or IP address [])
  Just substitute for ARIZVM1.bitnet
     List traffic is also available as (read only) FIDONET packets;
  contact Chuck Williamson for more info.

 *** Remember, all commands related to subscribing or unsubscribing
 *** should be sent to LISTSERV, not to the particular NBHC list!

How to post
     To post, simply send a mail message to appropriate list,
  and it will be sent to all other subscribers to the list.
  (The message will not be sent back to you; if you wish to
  receive copies of messages you post, see SET <listname>
  REPRO, below.)  Put an appropriate, descriptive subject
  line in, address it to BIRDCHAT at arizvm1.bitnet, and send
  it on.  Since the lists are not moderated, it is up to
  everyone to keep postings to a reasonable limit.  Be sure
  to include your name and email address, and your geographic
  locale, preferably at the beginning of the message.

List Etiquette

     The NBHC lists are global in readership, though
  they remain centered on North American birding.  Following
  these etiquette provisions is a courtesy to your fellow
  NBHC subscribers in North America and beyond.

*    Please be polite and courteous.  Keep flames and personal
  messages off the list.
*    Include only Rare Bird Alerts and Hotline Transcripts on
  the BIRDEAST, BIRDCNTR, and BIRDWEST lists.  For other messages,
  observations, and questions, BIRDCHAT is usually your best bet.
*    Please be sure to include your real-life name and location,
  preferably at the beginning of your message.  It's nice to have
  a personal reference point.  It also helps with trip and id.
*    Keep signature file lengths down to four lines or less.
*    Know how your mailer works.  When replying, include only the
  part of the previous posting which is essential to under-
  standing your reply.  Don't simply copy the whole previous
  message and append yours.  Unnecessary recopying costs other
  users time, money, and computing resources.
*    Make your subject lines brief and informative.  Use
  "RBA" or "HOTLINE" in postings that are hotline transcriptions,
  "TRIP" in trip reports, etc.  Two examples of good headers:
                 HOTLINE: Maine, 7/9/92
                 TRIP: Honolulu, HI 12/16/91
*    If a thread of messages and replies changes subject, change
  the subject line of your followup to accurately reflect the new
  tack.  For example, if a volley of posts about a Whiskered Tern
  sighting changes into a discussion of writing acceptable state
  records in general, change the subject to something like "Taking
  Good Field Notes" so that others will know what to expect.
*    Keep personal discussions offline.  Remember, when you
  choose " reply", your mailer will probably be sending back to
  the whole list.  If you're sure your message is only of
  interest to one person, take it offline.
*    Post substantive messages.  Show restraint in the number of
  posts you send.  BIRDCHAT is not moderated, so everyone is
   expected to police himself or herself.

Other information available from the listserv
     For those familiar with listservs, several commands are
  available.  You may retrieve last week's-- or last year's--
  postings to BIRDCHAT by using the GET command.  You may see
  who's subscribed by using the REVIEW command.  For a discussion
  of how to use these functions and others, send a mail file to
  LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.bitnet with the message INFO GENINTRO.  The
  listserv will send you back a manual on using these features.
     You may also query the listserv's database.  For information,
  send the INFO DATABASE command to LISTSERV, or contact Rob Scott.

Set <listname> REPRO, or
How come I don't get copies of the mail I send to the list?
     If you're not getting error messages back from the net, your
  mail probably *is* getting through.  It's just not getting
  bounced back to you.  If you want to receive a copy of
  your own postings,send mail to LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.BITNET
  with the message:
                     SET <listname> REPRO
  The (default?) option, NOREPRO, means that you won't get copies
  of your own postings.

Getting Mail from the NBHC lists less frequently
     It is possible to receive a digest, or mail file with all the
  day's messages, as opposed to receiving messages as they're sent
  to the net.  If you subscribe to the list in DIGEST form, each
  day's messages are saved and sent to you once a day (just after
  midnight Arizona time) as a single long mail message.  You give up
  the  ability to jump into an active conversation, but you eliminate
  the interruptions caused by individual messages.
     If even the digest is too much mail, you can also subscribe to a
  list in INDEX form.  Then all you get is a daily list of the subject
  lines, along with instructions on how to retrieve just the messages
  that you want.
     To switch to a DIGEST subscription, just send a message to
  (but NOT to the lists themselves!) with the command
                            SET <listname> DIGEST
     For an INDEX subscription it's "SET <listname> INDEX".  And if
  you decide you don't like it and want to go back to a regular sub-
  scription it's "SET <listname> MAIL".

  So, if I wanted to see only a digest of mail to birdcntr, I would
  send the message:
                           SET BIRDCNTR DIGEST

  One can simultaneously subscribe to a list and set options for
  the list.  Just put them all in a message to
  LISTSERV at arizvm1.bitnet, e.g:

                       SUBSCRIBE BIRDWEST Rob Scott
                       SET BIRDWEST INDEX

The Birdchat Logo
  The BIRDCHAT Logo, a handsome emblem featuring a Yellow-breasted
  Chat superimposed on a monitor and keyboard, was created during
  1993 by an enterprising panel of BIRDCHAT volunteers.  Small pins
  and seven-color 3.25 inch patches were produced, and Ellen Golden
  <egolden at> may yet have a few available.  Contact
  her for more information.

A few other FAQs are maintained.  For example, Rick Wright
<aewright at UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU> maintains a list of bookstores that
serve birders, and posts this list occasionally to BIRDCHAT.

*** Remember, the lists are for WILD bird topics, NOT PETS!***

Good birding!
Rob Scott, rs18 at or L33 at CORNELLC (bitnet)
Thanks to Chuck, Norm, and the assembled multitudes.
------ Forwarded message ends here ------

More information about the Taxacom mailing list