eBirdsNYC - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quick Answers

There is more information on all of this below.

What the group is

(This largely culled from the group home page)

eBirdsNYC is primarily for reporting wild bird sightings within NYC and surrounding areas, defined rather vaguely - it might include places like Brigantine and Cape May in migration, the Adirondacks and Catskills during winter etc. Basically anywhere that's a reasonable day-trip for NYC-based birders that has interesting birds. The list archives were formerly public but have recently been limited to list members only.

Topics appropriate for this list:

This is not a conservation group - while site-specific conservation issues relating to NYC are fine to post, more general conservation issues and anything from further afield is outside the purview of the group. No posting of Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation issues in Myanmar, even though it is a worthy issue. There are (probably many) other groups on which this information can be posted. Requests for Information are fine, as long as it applies to the general NYC area. RFI's for Florida birding (for example) are not.

Please indicate if a spotting scope is useful to view the birds - not everyone is familiar with all locations (for coastal locations, Jamaica Bay etc assume a scope is very useful). Directions to less popular spots are appreciated.

Advertising, political discussions, spam/virus alerts etc are not appropriate. Raptor nest and owl roost locations should not be reported - I make this provision for their protection, since the archives of the list are used to be publically-accessible and harassment of these locations is sadly rather typical. I made a specific exception for the Central Park Boreal Owl but I don't report other owl roost sites - general location info like seeing Short-eared Owls at Shawangunk NWR is fine. I would prefer it if Snowy Owl locations were made VERY general, since they also get harassed. Advocation of or use of owl taping and other forms of harassment are forbidden. In fact harassment of Snowy Owls at Breezy Point finally led me to take the archives of the list private - they are viewable to list members, they are just not viewable to general public.

THE LIST DOES NOT ALLOW ATTACHMENTS. If you want to post pictures, host them on somewhere like Picasa or Flickr and post the link to the image.

What the group is not

How to post messages

Simply send a message to: ebirdsnyc@yahoogroups.com. Unless you're a brand new member the message is not held for approval or moderated. It goes straight out to the membership. In rare instances on contentious items (e.g. trapping hummingbirds, getting too close to owls) I've put the entire list on message moderation but have deleted about two messages in my entire time on the list. Sometimes I delete spam messages from the archives but don't edit messages for content.

How to subscribe

To subscribe: email ebirdsnyc-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
If you are subscribed via a Yahoo account you can do it via the web on the home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eBirdsNYC/

The list owner cannot and will not add you unilaterally. The best (s)he can do is to send you an invitation, but this will always take longer than if you initiate the membership yourself. Either way the list owner must approve new members - typically this pending queue gets checked every day or three.

How to unsubscribe

To subscribe: email ebirdsnyc-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
If you are subscribed via a Yahoo account you can do it via the web on the home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eBirdsNYC/

DO NOT EMAIL THE ENTIRE GROUP WITH THE REQUEST - THAT WILL DO NOTHING (except to show that you're too lazy to check the directions that you were sent originally)

How to change your email address

There's no inherent mechanism for this, so you basically subscribe (see above) with the new address and unsubscribe (with the old one). The list owner cannot do this, and can only send a subscription invitation. The list owner can delete you from the list, but as ever it's faster to do that yourself.

Consequences of Closing the Message Archives

Previously, if you accessed the group web pages at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eBirdsNYC/ you would see most of the links greyed out except "Home" and "Messages". With the group archives now limited to list members, the "Messages" bar is also greyed out. If you've joined eBirdsNYC from a yahoo email address, and if you're logged in with that Yahoo account which is in the list of group members, then you should see all links available to you (not greyed out) except the purely admin ones. If you've joined the list with a non-Yahoo account (gmail, aol, hotmail etc) you will need to use a Yahoo account to access the list web features - it's always been this way except that now the restricted links also include the Messages archive. It's perfectly possible to join with a Yahoo account and set it as "No Mail", which means it gets no email (even admin email) from the group and can be used just to access web features. You can do this in addition to, and independently of, your existing membership. You can always tell if you're currently logged in with a Yahoo email account or not because the extreme top left of the web page either says "Sign In" or "Sign Out" (the latter if you're logged in). For example logged in as the admin account to Yahoo I see:
Hi, pdj1964 | Sign Out | Help
at the top left corner of the page and the eBirdsNYC group web page has all links in the group sidebar available. If I sign out, then all the links except Home are disabled, since it now views me as a non-list member. If you have multiple Yahoo IDs - like I do - you may need to flip between them to match the one in the group membership list.

In summary, you need a Yahoo email account and login using that to access all group web features. This is the same as before, except now the group message archive is part of the member-only features for list members with a Yahoo ID - formerly it was public-readable.

Comments etc to my email address.