I agree with Miriam Lawrence (and Allan about the 'delete') key. The sightings and behavior of our "ordinary" birds is far from ordinary. Of course we all want to hear about rare birds, but our contacts with other Vermont birders would be few and far between if we waited for the rarity to appear.
I don't think there is a need for a separate "rare bird" list, however, given the other technology out there such as Miriam mentioned. Also, the Google Gadget, available through the VT eBird home page (under VT eBird Resources on the bottom right of the page) also addresses that need:
--- On Fri, 8/13/10, Miriam Lawrence <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Miriam Lawrence <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] OT: VT Bird policies
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Friday, August 13, 2010, 3:16 PM
> On Aug 13, 2010, at 2:52 PM, astrong
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > I think it is also helpful to maintain
> perspective...while sifting through email the delete key is
> only inches away.
> > Allan
> I'm with Allan. It's called the delete key. If we all
> label our posts
> accurately in the subject line--which I find people do very
> well on
> this list--then it isn't that difficult to simply delete
> the posts
> that are not of interest.
> Personally, I would be very sad to see some of the
> "mundane" reports
> go away. To me, they aren't mundane -- they speak to why I
> am a
> birder. For me, this activity is not all about the
> newest bird on my
> list, though I love adding to my life list as much as the
> next person.
> I already figure I'll have to leave the state to see many
> new birds
> at this point. For me, this hobby is about the beauty
> and elegance
> and fascination these creatures bring to our lives.
> I love how much VT Birders notice and post those types of
> observations; in fact, I find it wonderfully refreshing to
> read. If
> this list were only rare bird reports, I would find it much
> interesting and valuable.
> I also don't mind the types of announcements that have been
> here, nor the sharing of photo links or info about events
> of interest.
> Again, for me, these things keep the birding community
> vibrant and
> Perhaps what's really needed is a second listserv,
> VTRAREBIRDS. That
> way, the folks who are really just looking for that info
> could leave
> this list and subscribe there.
> Of course, there is already the ABA Rare Bird alert
> listserv (to which
> I belong) but you have to sift through national
> listings. And isn't
> there some way that those folks can use eBird to find rare
> birds in
> I'll also point out that for iPhone users, there is the
> BirdsEye app
> from Cornell/eBird, which is designed to help you find
> birds in your
> area using real-time eBird info.
> And no, I have no affiliation with Apple and this does not
> constitute an ad. ;)
> Ernie, in case no one else has said it, THANK YOU for all
> of your work
> running this list, and for caring enough to solicit
> feedback from its
> Miriam Lawrence