National (USA) Birding Hotline Cooperative
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
Karsten E. Hartel
hartel at mcz.harvard.edu
----- Forwarded message begins here -----
From: Rob Scott <rs18 at cornell.edu>
Wed, 12 Jan 1994 17:23:07 -0500
To: All_NBHC_Subscribers <rs18 at cornell.edu> (Robert Scott)
Subject: NBHC Information Sheet
>From Rob Scott, Lodi NY USA <Rob-Scott at cornell.edu>
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
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 cornell.edu> a line.
Please send all suggestions, comments, criticisms, and flames
to Rob Scott <rs18 at cornell.edu>.
List of Topics:
The National Birding Hotline Cooperative (NBHC)
NBHC lists available
Signing on & Signing off
* 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
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
We are always looking for volunteers to transcribe and
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
SUBSCRIBE <listname> Your Name
where <listname> is the name of the NBHC list you'd like 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
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:
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
arizvm1.ccit.arizona.edu (or IP address [126.96.36.199])
Just substitute arizvm1.ccit.arizona.edu 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.
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
LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.BITNET (or LISTSERV at ARIZVM1.CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU)
(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 hq.ileaf.com> 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!***
Rob Scott, rs18 at cornell.edu or L33 at CORNELLC (bitnet)
Thanks to Chuck, Norm, and the assembled multitudes.
------ Forwarded message ends here ------
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