About The Bluebird Monitors Group (BMG)
How to Join | Guidelines
What is the Bluebird Monitors Group (BMG) and who runs it?
The BMG is the reincarnation of the Bluebird_LISTSERV or Bluebird_L, which the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology hosted up until May 2010. The BMG is a Yahoo Group started by Mike from Malpitas, who also moderates it.
You can post questions and answers, share links, swap photos or files, take polls, use a calendar, etc. with members. You can quickly scan new postings and browse detailed message archives. It loads fairly quickly, even if you are suffering with a dial-up connection.
The group consists of some very experienced bluebird monitors (including book authors, heads of state bluebird societies, and some members of the North American Bluebird Society (NABS) board, newbies, and everything inbetween.
Be aware that the group is very active during nesting season, so consider how you want to participate - get every email, get a daily digest, or just browse the postings online. More....
The group provides a forum to share knowledge concerning bluebirds and other cavity-nesting species. Discussions on topics related to these subjects are invited. Exchanges should be informative and respectful. Members are encouraged to feel a sense of community in which they can post without risking humiliation or personal attacks.
It is the intention of the Group owners and managers to maintain BMG as an open forum. Individual messages are not moderated. Instead, it is up to every member of the list to monitor his/her own behavior on the list. Should violations of the Guidelines occur, BMG owners and managers will use their discretion to remedy the violations. Should you need to contact someone directly for any reason regarding the BMG, email the moderator.
How do I join/subscribe to the BMG?
If you already have a Yahoo ID and account, you should be able to see this page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BluebirdMonitors/. You can read posts there, but not access the stuff on the left. To join, look for a "Join this group" button up top. When you click on it, you will see options for what email address you would like posts sent to, what alias to use, how you want to receive messages (i.e., individually for each post or a daily digest), and the format (html or plain text)
If you don't have a Yahoo ID and account, you need to register for one to join the list. You can ask for an invite from the moderator by emailing geochelone"at"aol.com (replace the "at" with the @ symbol). Or, to get a Yahoo! ID and free email account, go here. You do need to enter some info about yourself (but there is no need to give a credit card #, etc.) (You don't have to use the yahoo email account if you don't want to.) You will get a message asking you to confirm your membership.
You can also just click on this button to join:
To subscribe you can also just enter your mail address below. You can have posts sent to any email address you designate (or just browse online.)
How do I post to the BMG? What Information should I include in my message?
To post, Log in (there is a "Sign In" link in the upper left hand corner), which requires entering your password. Then just select Messages, Post from the block in the left column.
Include a SUBJECT HEADING that provides information about the subject you are actually discussing. For example, if you want to discuss how to ID a Black-capped Chickadee nest, type that in the SUBJECT field. You might choose to write, "Is my nest a Black-capped Chickadee?" Don't just write Black-capped Chickadee in the subject line.
Also, don't write about mealworms in that Black-capped Chickadee message; the meal worm discussion is apt to get lost. Send another message with the specific topic, such as, "Feeding meal worms to bluebirds." Be consistent.
When replying to a message, keep the same subject line as the original message; that way, readers can go right back to the original message and others' comments on the same subject. Remember to stay on topic. When you hit REPLY, make sure that you are replying to the topic that is in the subject field. For example, if you are replying to the topic "Gilbertson Nest Boxes" stay on that topic. Don't drop in a comment about "Dead Tree Swallows" or, write the entire message about dead Tree Swallows. Your Tree Swallow info is bound to get lost. Send a separate message that refers to "Dead Tree Swallows" in the subject line.
Be sure to include a SIGNATURE. Where are you from? Other BMG participants want to know, as your location may affect the answer to your question. Begin your message or sign off with at least your first name, city, and state or province. This can be critical when you are discussing bird species. For example, when you mention "bluebirds," you are probably not referring to Eastern Bluebirds if you are from California. An easy option is to set up an automatic signature. Check to see if your mail program has an automatic signature option. By using this option, you won't have to type your name and place each time. Add a space on either side of the @ sign so Yahoo doesn't modify your email address - e.g., myname @ charter.net
In order to see links, you will need to receive emails in the HTML (Yahoo calls this "fully featured") format (vs. plain or "traditional" text).
What is appropriate or not appropriate on the BMG?
Although the list is called "Bluebird Monitors Group" questions or discussions about all cavity-nesting birds are welcome. Many experienced nest box monitors share tips and tricks they have learned over the years, and many new nest box monitors ask questions about recent observations in or around their nest boxes. Some post bluebird related poems. As long as the discussions are civil and posts are respectful, they are appropriate for this list. We all need to remember to be KIND to each other.
Posts that nit-pick, belittle, or personal attacks on other members of BMG will not be tolerate. Feuding is unacceptable and drives people off the list. Members that post such messages will be immediately and permanently removed from the list.
Off-topic posts are generally not allowed or encouraged. (During slow periods, an occasional post RELATED to bluebirding is probably tolerated - but too many will drive bluebirders away from this group, and the more participants, the better and more useful it will be.) Keep in mind there are many other lists devoted to those topics, or another Yahoo Group could be started. The American Birding Association maintains a list of Newsgroups/Mailing Lists. Region-oriented lists cover virtually everywhere in North America and the rest of the world, and subject-oriented lists include topics as varied as hawk migration, hummingbirds, seabirds, eagles, bird-safe coffee production, bird banding, and much more.
Commercial, religious and/or political messages, as well as any inappropriate or offensive material are prohibited on the BMG.
Blatantly off-topic posts, meaning those not relating to birds in any way, are not allowed on BMG.
Please do not forward virus warnings, chain letters, or other warnings to the list. While we realize your intentions are good, in almost all cases these e-mails are simply a hoax and the "virus" is spreading the e-mail to all corners of the Internet.
Avoid "me too" messages. If all you want to do is agree with something someone has said, but you don't really have anything new to add, think about sending personal e-mail. Or maybe just shout "YESSS!" really loudly to make yourself feel better. "Me too" messages clog up the list and cause some valuable members to unsubscribe.
To reply to the entire group, hit reply in the top left of the message list. To reply to the sender only, click on the small enveloped icon on the right side. Individual back-and-forth discussions should be sent between individuals, not to the entire list. It is great to learn that there is rapport between individual BMG. However, these discussions can get tedious, timely, and costly for others to read. Some find them downright bothersome, to the point that some folks, whose time is very limited, will unsubscribe. When people unsubscribe, their contributions and perspectives and opportunity to learn are lost.
Please send personal messages to the recipient directly - do not post them in the Group. To do this, reply by using the link under the posters name (to the far right) with a little picture of an email next to it.) That message will be sent only to the person who wrote the message. To reply to the whole list, simply hit the blue "Reply" button in the bottom of the email. But make sure the message you are sending is for general readership and not a personal message.
Attachments (nest box plans, photographs, text documents, etc.) can be included on the BMG.
It is fine to "lurk" (read and learn but not post) but sharing your experiences and perspectives is also valued by the group.
Please do not post links without any explanation. People have to worry about spam/viruses/phishing and other nefarious motives. An explanation will also help busy folks decide whether it is worth their while to open the link.
How do I receive one email per day with all the posts (called a digest format?)
To change to digest format (alternative to getting individual Bluebird Monitor Group emails during the day), 1. click on "Edit Membership" (top left of screen)
to Step 2, message delivery, where you can check either individual email, daily digest, special notices (from the group moderator) and web only (read messages only on the web).
Then SAVE CHANGES (bottom left)
Note: If you use the digest, you can reply to messages from the digest, but the Group will only accept those replies if they come from the same email you subscribed with. Otherwise, you'll need to reply online.
If you choose to not receive emails and just browse online, bookmark the site (add it to your favorites) so it is easy to find in the future.
How can I temporarily unsubscribe to the BMG? How do I permanently unsubscribe?
Select Edit Membership (upper left) and pick "Leave Group" - pretty easy. If you want to re-subscribe, just join again.
Account Info: We suggest you "clear all" for special offers and marketing communications from Yahoo! if you don't want to get pestered. If you do get emails, click on the "Use this link to unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of the email you received.
Where can I see old posts on the BMG or the Bluebird_L?
Select posts from the Bluebird_LISTSERV are found online. The site is called the Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified or the BBL Archives. The web pages are hosted by Jim McLochlin of the Audubon Society of Omaha, and the index and posts are maintained by me, but are only current through May of 2007 due to time constraints.
Older BMG posts can be viewed under Message History (down at the bottom of the Home Page) and have put this group in the "Birds" category.
Where can I find out more about FAQs, and how to use Files, Photos, Links, Databases, Polls and Calendars on Yahoo Groups?
See Yahoo Group Members Help Topics or post a question to the group (be specific about info you seek)
When you go to certain parts of the group (e.g. photos) you may be see a message saying it is "Age-Restricted" and need to certify that you are at least 18 years old. Yahoo Groups reviewed the site, and although it does discuss "chicks" they determined it was not an Adult site
What other online/email bluebird forums are out there?
There are several very good online forums and LISTSERVS that focus on bluebirds and other cavity nesters - see http://www.sialis.org/forumlinks.htm#listservs for more information.
References and More Information:
Insulting someone on a public list is very much like punching someone in the face in a crowded bar near closing time; don't do it unless you want to get into a fight that could be painful for everyone.
- from a guide to LISTSERVS