Greetings VTBIRDers                       Friday, 9 March 2007

Spring is coming.... maybe not today, but tomorrow may be some
60 degrees warmer than it was this morning.  The birds will get
busier; the list will get busier.  So here are guidelines and
words of advice for VTBIRD contributors.

I've been lax recently about messages that don't have informative
subject lines or those so trivial that most readers are sorry to
see them arrive.  Please be considerate, and before you hit the
"send" button ask yourself if all 400 of us really need to read
what you are writing.  Thanks!


This administrative message will be posted periodically to assist
VTBIRD subscribers.

CONTENTS:      VTBIRD Guidelines
               Listserv instructions (in part)
               A few points regarding list etiquette


Please read and observe the following guidelines when posting to

1. All messages to VTBIRD should include the following:

   * Your name and location (most email programs can be set to automatically
     append a signature block to outgoing messages)
   * An informative SUBJECT line that reflects the content of your message
   * Date and location of any sightings you are reporting

2. Please share reports of bird sightings in Vermont.  For other locales use
   common sense.  New Hampshire and other adjacent states have their own 
   Nevertheless, many VTBIRD subscribers will be interested in reports from
   areas close to Vermont (especially reports of rare birds).

3. Other topics about bird identification, optics, field guides, or general
   nature observations are welcome and encouraged.  Please ask for a private
   response if you are requesting information for trips outside of our area.

4. Please do NOT post messages about viruses.  All who use the Internet are
   responsible for staying informed and prepared to deal with viruses and
   virus hoaxes.  Computer viruses have nothing to do with birds or birding
   in Vermont.

5. Attachments are not allowed.  The preferred method for sharing photos or
   binary files is to post them on a web page.  One can then include a URL
   (web address) in a message directing readers to the web page.

6. When replying to a message please make certain that your reply is
   addressed to the intended recipient(s).  A quick look at the "To:" field
   should indicate if you are replying to the entire list or to the sender

7. Please be thoughtful and courteous when posting messages to the list.
   If you are offended by someone's contribution please take it up privately
   with the sender and/or the list owner.


LISTSERV commands are all sent in the BODY (not the subject) of email
messages to [log in to unmask] .  Note that you must be subscribed to
the list (and sending from your subscribed address) for the commands below
to have any useful effect.  Here are some of the commonly used commands:

To subscribe to the list:               SUBSCRIBE VTBIRD firstname lastname

To leave the list:                      SIGNOFF VTBIRD
                                        (or UNSUB VTBIRD)

To turn mail off temporarily:           SET VTBIRD NOMAIL
  (e.g., for vacation)

To turn mail back on:                   SET VTBIRD MAIL

To set the list to digest mode:         SET VTBIRD DIGEST

To set the list to index mode:          SET VTBIRD INDEX
To set the list to individual
postings mode:                          SET VTBIRD NODIGEST
                                     or SET VTBIRD NOINDEX

To get a reference card of
LISTSERV commands:                      INFO REFCARD

To get an index of available
list archive files:                     INDEX VTBIRD

To order archive files:
  For monthly archives:                GET VTBIRD LOGyymm
  For weekly archives:                 GET VTBIRD LOGyymmw
  (where yy=year; mm=month;
   and w=week [A-E])

Much of what can be accomplished with Listserv commands can also be
done via the web (at  You
may find the web interface to be more user-friendly than email commands.


  * Please use the subject line!  (and don't just write "birds" or
    "Saturday").  If you do not appreciate the need for informative
    subject headings, please visit (or better yet, search) the archives
    as one example of why a good subject line is important.

  * Please pay attention to the "To:" field when replying.  If all you
    are saying is "count me in", "I agree", or "great photos!" you
    probably want your message to go to the sender only (and not to
    everyone on the list).

  * Writers may not be aware that their email program is sending
    extra garbage with the message.  It is appropriate to assume this
    is the case and correspond privately with the list owner or the
    sender if you object to junk included in messages.  There's no need
    to bother everyone on the list with such objections.

  * If your message is more than a brief paragraph, please do us the
    service of CAPITALIZING bird names so that your message can be
    quickly scanned by readers lacking the time or patience to wade
    through a long narrative looking for the bird sightings.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome!  Please don't hold back.
It really does take a village....

May your excursions on VTBIRD and in the field be filled with delight.

Ernie Buford
VTBIRD List Owner