What is Ohio-birds?

Ohio-birds is an email discussion list (mailing list) for Ohio birders and those interested in Ohio birds. Subscribers to Ohio-birds are able to:

  • Share information about bird sightings in Ohio.
  • Review the most recent bird sighting reports and rare bird alerts from across the state.
  • Learn (and ask) about places to look for birds in Ohio.
  • Discuss and debate the occurrence, distribution, identification, and ecology of Ohio birds.

Ohio-birds encourages the open discussion of Ohio birds and birding. In general, we ask that participants limit their messages to matters related to birds and birding within our state.

The list is free to use, and now has over 1,000 subscribers. The Ohio-birds list is sponsored by the Ohio Ornithological Society, so please thank them by supporting their efforts whenever you can.

Who takes care of the mailing list?

A list owner is a volunteer who makes sure that a list runs smoothly and has final say on issues that arise. This discussion list is not moderated and no prior review of postings takes place. Feel free to contact the list owner at listowner@ohiobirds.org.

Our email list is hosted by Miami University. This service saves us a great deal of money, so please show your them your support.

What are the posting guidelines?


The purpose of this mailing list is to discuss wild Ohio birds. However, it is NOT limited to reports of rarities, or even to sightings of birds in Ohio. Discussions of birding sites in Ohio, birding events in or near Ohio, and anything else that relates to wild Ohio birds are all appropriate topics.

Brief messages that are not strictly within the above guidelines may also be appropriate. Examples would be sightings outside Ohio that are close enough to be of interest to Ohio birders, messages about non-bird Ohio natural history topics, and messages about birding topics that are not strictly related to Ohio. However, if your topic falls within this group of subjects, please think twice before posting it. Ask yourself whether this is really the best place on the Internet to post your message. Messages in this group should be limited to brief announcements, and should not become the subject of extended discussions.

Remember that you are writing to over 1,000 birders, who are scattered across the state. No messages are going to be interesting to all of them, and most messages won’t even be interesting to the majority of them. But if your message isn’t likely to be interesting to at least a large number of that group of Ohio birders, it probably doesn’t belong here.


Certain subjects quickly degenerate into heated arguments, known on the Internet as “flame wars”. These include political issues, pro- and anti-hunting discussions, and feral cat discussions. Stay well away from such topics.

Complaints that a message is inappropriate are themselves inappropriate. If you have a complaint, send it to the listowner, at listowner@ohiobirds.org. Do not send your complaint to the 1,000 readers of this list.

Advertising is prohibited. No one should take advantage of our service to the birding community. Topics about non-profits, volunteer work, or birding clubs are fine.

Most messages about birds distant from Ohio, or about birds in general, as opposed to Ohio birds, do not belong here. If you have a question about birding in Florida, why ask Ohio birders? The Birding News section of the American Birding Association web site has links to lists like this one across the country, and even around the world. Join the appropriate list long enough to ask your question and get answers, and then sign off that list if you like.


Behave like a responsible adult and you may persuade others to do the same. Posts that offer intelligent, reasoned debate in a civil tone or argue a different point of view, but are respectful of the poster and the list as a whole, are welcomed. Posts that ridicule, attack, or insult another poster or their ideas are unacceptable.

Subscribers’ expertise (both in Ohio-birds topics and in the use of the Internet) varies widely. Show tolerance of posts by new subscribers and posts that are occasionally off- topic, poorly written, or not up to your personal standards. Be slow to take offense to a post. You may have misjudged the poster’s meaning. Tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language—especially to convey humor—are absent via this medium! If you do take offense, allow yourself a cool-down period before you click on the Send button. Even then, consider sending your message privately rather than to the list. Retain a sense of proportion.

Consider responding to the individual poster rather than to the list as a whole. Will your answer to a question interest just the person who asked the question, or will it interest a substantial number of other readers? And when you ask a question, consider coupling a request for individual responses with an offer to summarize those responses for the rest of the readers.
All participants are requested to sign messages to the list using their actual name. This list strives to be a community of friends; you don’t need to hide your identity.

Try to be specific about locations. Remember that you are writing to people from across the state. A reference to a local hotspot that you know well may be meaningless to people from other parts of the state. Many birders who travel around the state use the DeLorme atlas, so a reference to DeLorme page and grid may be helpful. One important exception to this rule concerns nesting locations, particularly of rare species. Consider the possible impact on the birds before you get too specific about nest locations.
Try to be accurate in your selection of a subject heading. As long as the discussion remains on a unique topic, everyone should continue to use the same subject heading. If the subject changes, select a new heading. This practice will improve the accuracy of searches of the Ohio-birds archives.

Try not to use abbreviations for first species mention in a post. For instance, the first occurrence of a sighting of a Golden-winged Warbler should not appear as GWWA, g-w warbler, gw warbl., golden-winged, or any other contrived short form. By adhering to this policy, searching accuracy in the Ohio-birds archives for species names will be greatly enhanced.

When replying to a message, please do not quote the entire message, only those parts which are important to your reply. Leaving the whole message in your reply greatly lengthens the digest and individual messages that users must download and makes searching the archive much less effective. Leaving whole message intact can cause a researcher using the archives to have to chase a lot of dead ends to find what they are looking for.

Don’t include attachments to your messages. The listserv software will delete them, so no one will see them anyway. If you have a picture of a Siberian Accentor coming to your feeder in Ohio and you’d like others to be able to see it, you should post it to the web and include the URL for others to link to it. A number of web sites now allow anyone to post photographs for free; use your favorite search engine to find the sites that are currently active.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe
You can subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your options at the list management page.
How to Post

Use the following address to post messages to all the subscribers on Ohio-birds: Ohio-birds@listserv.miamioh.edu.

Be sure to include your name and location as part of your signature at the end of the post. When you report a bird sighting, be sure to include enough geographic information so that subscribers from other areas will know where you mean.

Messages sent to Ohio-birds are distributed to all Ohio-birds subscribers. Replies to messages are sent to the message originator.

List Archive

An archive of past messages can be found on the list archive page.

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