[Tweeters] Local listserves? (was Re: county lists)

Jesse Ellis jme29 at cornell.edu
Wed Jan 3 11:13:53 PST 2007

I have to agree with Wayne here.  It would be preferable for someone 
this devoted to create a webpage or something that could be submitted 
to and viewed outside of a post to Tweeters...  I guess the WOS only 
has a RARE bird report form, rather than a seasonal report form? 
County lists are great ornithologically, and for one's own personal 
interest, but rather than running tallies I'd rather see a tabulated 
report in a publication, with points of interest HIGHLIGHTED.

This also leads me to an interesting winter list-serve topic... sure 
to generate too much mail for all.  Given the number of messages 
hurtling through Tweeters on topics both rare and more mundane, I'm 
wondering if there would be any interest in creating a Seattle area 
list or Western Washington list and Eastern Washington list, with a 
focus on birds that are interesting or rarer for those areas 
specifically?  New York has had a lot of success in this area, but 
perhaps that's because of a high density of birders.

While breaking up state-wide lists might seem like a break-down of 
the state birding community, I think it could create greater 
awareness of regional patterns in bird populations and movements that 
don't otherwise get remarked upon in larger lists.  I wouldn't want 
any list to supersede a state-wide list for reporting rarities, 
however.  This would be a boon to more local site-listers (King 
County lists, or even more local lists, for example) and I've found 
it really neat to know when birds are actually passing through my 
area, especially if they're tough to find in that location.

It might make the general birding community a little more welcoming 
to newer birders as well.  I know I've been sometimes hesitant to 
report an interesting day-list from the Montlake Fill if there's 
nothing of state-wide importance on it.  Easterners might not care 
much that I've seen another Harrier there, though I suspect some 
Seattlites would be quite interested.  I know new birders sometimes 
do not report because they're not the "experts" that always post on 
Tweeters.  A more local focus would hopefully be a little more 
welcoming of such "non-expert" reports.

It also might reduce the amount of mail to some folks, if they choose 
to stick with one list or another and only periodlically check in 
online on the other list (to that end see 
http://www.birdingonthe.net/birdmail.html for a complete list of bird 
lists ONLINE.  You don't have to subscribe to read these lists!  If 
you're getting too much mail, unsubscribe and read it here!  I'm 
unaffliated with the site, just a frequent and thankful user).

I'm new here, and am suggesting this only because of my interest in 
regional birds and because of the volume of Tweeter's email I get.  I 
hope this doesn't cause any conflict and that people can voice 
opinions (both pro and con) freely.  Opinions?

Jesse Ellis

At 10:03 AM -0800 1/3/07, Wayne C. Weber wrote:
>I am dismayed to note that someone is attempting to recruit
>"county year list" coordinators, with the intention of posting
>numerous updates to TWEETERS on the year list for County X
>or County Y.
>If some of you would like to see what this practice looks like
>in its full-fledged from, have a look at the archives of IBLE
>(Idaho Birders Linked Electronically) over the last couple of
>years. A large percentage of messages on this E-group
>consists of lists of 5 or 10 species that have been added to the year
>list for this or that county--  often with no indication of who saw
>the species, or where in the county it was seen. In my opinion,
>IBLE has gone a long way downhill since I first subscribed to it
>several years ago.
>I don't know about most of you, but I find this stuff to be dead
>boring. I would much rather read reports of rare birds, trip reports
>(especially detailed ones like those posted by Patrick
>Sullivan, Gina Sheridan, or Charlie Wright), accounts of unusual
>bird behavior, conservation-related messages, and other types
>of messages that are already posted on TWEETERS.
>If we end up having year-list coordinators for all 39 Washington
>counties--  and if updates for each county are posted only
>4 times a month-- that would mean an extra 1872 messages per
>year posted to TWEETERS, on top of the 7000 or so messages
>(about 20 per day) that are already posted. How many of us
>really want to read all this stuff?
>There is plenty of evidence (e.g. a couple of messages posted within
>the last 24 hours) that some of us already can barely deal with
>the number of messages being sent to TWEETERS. A flood
>of messages dealing with county year lists might be the final
>straw causing quite a few subscribers to drop TWEETERS
>completely, which would be a shame.
>If some of you are really keen on keeping county year lists, and
>on posting frequent updates to them, I would strongly
>encourage you to start your own E-group and/or website devoted
>specifically to that purpose, rather than inflicting this stuff on
>those of us who find it unnecessary and boring.
>Wayne C. Weber
>Delta, BC
>contopus at telus.net
>Tweeters mailing list
>Tweeters at u.washington.edu

Jesse Ellis, Ph. D. candidate
Neurobiology and Behavior
jme29 at cornell.edu
111 Mudd Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, 14853
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