[CT Birds] A Note on Posting from your List Admin

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Mon Dec 30 20:28:05 EST 2013

CTBirds has been accumulating new members, including new birders.  We have been getting far more reports from the field, reports from excited birders using tiny keyboards.  I think I am overdue reminding everyone about what a good sighting report needs.

Subject.  If the Subject line of the message is unclear (or worse flat-out wrong) your message might be skipped or read too late for people to see the bird.  Today we had this problem with reports of the Snowy Owl in Hartford (of all places!)  The first report had the Subject "Old Lyme Snowy Owl".  It was a reply to an earlier message, which is a convenient way to get the CTBirds email address right.  That is fine, but please change the subject!  If you are following up on a report with an incorrect subject, fix it in your Reply.

Where.  Please try to be complete.  Saying Meig's Point but not saying Hammonasset State Park is incomplete.  Saying Long Beach without saying Stratford is incomplete.  Imagine you are an out-of-state birder visiting CT; did you provide enough information for them to find the bird?

When.  If the sighting was not the same day you are sending the report, give the date, or the day of the week.  If you know the time of day, even generally (mid-morning, around noon, etc) include it.

Who.  The CTBirds requirement is that every post has the name and town of the person making the report.  If you are out in the field posting from a phone I am not going to make an issue about leaving off your town, but you do need to include your name, first AND last name.  Configuring your email to include your name as part of your messages FROM field means you are covered.  This may take some thinking on a phone but it can be done with any email system.

What.  This one is usually not a problem.  Over use of abbreviations should be avoided, but in general if everyone knows what species you are talking about that's sufficient.  Ideal is using the names as specified by that AOU but that is a bit much to expect.

Digest.  Many subscribers to CTBirds get their messages grouped together into cumulative Digest messages.  When replying to a Digest message PLEASE TRIM OFF THE UNRELATED TEXT.  A typical Digest has 9 to 12 messages.  Leave them in an the NEXT digest has twice as much as usual.

Thanks, and good birding!

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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