This is the official home page for VTBIRD, the Vermont Birding Discussion List.  For the convenience of subscribers, information from the VTBIRD welcome message is included below.  Guidelines were modeled after those used by BIRDCHAT and other, established, bird discussion lists.  Also included are resources about viruses and other pertinent topics.

Welcome to VTBIRD!

VTBIRD is an email list for discussion of wild birds and birding in Vermont and adjacent areas.  Interested birders and nature enthusiasts are encouraged to report recent sightings, ask questions, announce field trips, or discuss bird conservation issues.  Contributions should be respectful, informative, and relevant to our topic.

The Vermont Bird discussion list is hosted by the University of Vermont (UVM) and sponsored by the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural ResourcesErnie Buford is the list owner.

Please read and observe the following guidelines:

  1. All messages to VTBIRD should include the following:
    • Your name and location (most email programs can be set to automatically append a signature block to outgoing messages)
    • An informative SUBJECT line that reflects the content of your message
    • Date and location of any sightings you are reporting

  2. Please share reports of bird sightings in Vermont.  For other locales use common sense.  New Hampshire and other adjacent states have their own lists.  Nevertheless, many VTBIRD subscribers will be interested in reports from areas close to Vermont (especially reports of rare birds).

  3. Other topics about bird identification, optics, field guides, or general nature observations are welcome and encouraged.  Please ask for a private response if you are requesting information for trips outside of our area.

  4. Please do NOT post messages about viruses.  All who use the Internet are responsible for staying informed and prepared to deal with viruses and virus hoaxes.  Computer viruses have nothing to do with birds or birding in Vermont.

  5. Attachments are not allowed.  The preferred method for sharing photos or binary files is to post them on a web page.  Then include a URL (web address) in your message directing readers to the web page.

  6. When replying to a message please make certain that your reply is addressed to the intended recipient(s).  A quick look at the "To:" field should indicate if you are replying to the entire list or to the sender only.

  7. Please be thoughtful and courteous when posting messages to the list.  If you are offended by someone's contribution please take it up privately with the sender and/or the list owner.


VTBIRD resides on a computer running LSoft's LISTSERV software.  There are 2 addresses you will need.  Which address to use depends on whether you are sending a message to everyone on the list or sending LISTSERV commands to the computer that manages your VTBIRD subscription. These commands are instructions for the LISTSERV computer and should not be sent to everyone on the list!

Send LISTSERV commands to the LISTSERV address:
To post a message to everyone on VTBIRD send email to the list address:

There is a web page where you can join or leave the list, post messages to the list, or view VTBIRD archives:

VTBIRD was moved to UVM from Castleton State College in January 2002.  Archives older than that date are not available on the UVM server.


Commands for joining/leaving the list, retrieving archive files, or managing your settings should be sent to the LISTSERV address (  Commands go on the first line of the message.  Do not put anything on the subject line or after the command.

Two other points to observe when sending LISTSERV commands: Be sure to turn off automatic signature generation in your mailer - LISTSERV won't understand your signature lines and will just give you error messages.  Also, don't use your mailer's confirmation of reading or auto-reply features, these are not understood by LISTSERV.

Don't see what you need here?  Detailed command references and background information are available in text format via LISTSERV or online in the LISTSERV manuals.


To join the VTBIRD list send a subscribe (or SUB) command on the first line of an email message along with the list name and your first and last name.  For example:

         | To:         |
         | From: Henry Birder                |
         | Subject:                          |
         | SUBSCRIBE VTBIRD Henry Birder     |
         |                                   |
         |                                   |
(substitute your own name unless your are Henry Birder.)

To leave the vtbird list, send e-mail to and put the signoff command (UNSUB will also work) as the first line of your message with the list name.  For example:

         | To:         |
         | From: Henry Birder                |
         | Subject:                          |
         | SIGNOFF VTBIRD                    |
         |                                   |
         |                                   |

LISTSERV will require you to confirm your subscribe and unsubscribe requests and will send you directions on how to do that.

Change your address

To have VTBIRD mail delivered to a new address send this command from your currently-subscribed address:


SET (change your settings)

To receive messages in digest mode send this command to the LISTSERV address ( just as you did with the subscribe command:


To temporarily stop delivery when you plan to be away:


To resume delivery after you return:


Accessing the Archives

To see the past messages sent to the list (the list archives) look on the Web at or use these LISTSERV commands:

INDEX VTBIRD get a list of available archive files
GET VTBIRD LOG9705 retrieve the 1997 May monthly file
SEARCH MEETING IN VTBIRD get a list (or index) of the message numbers containing the word "meeting"
GETPOST VTBIRD 2 4 6-9 get the actual message(s), by number, found in the above search command

Recent messages to VTBIRD (and many other state/regional lists) can also be viewed quite easily on a single page at Birdingonthe.Net.

About viruses and hoaxes

Anyone who owns a car has to make sure the oil gets changed.  Anyone who uses a computer needs to learn about computer viruses and how to make sure their computer is protected.  Viruses will find their way to you sooner or later.  If you use a relatively secure mail program and never open attachments unless you are sure they are "clean" you stand a better chance of avoiding virus trouble.  Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that you get yourself a good anti-virus program and use it regularly.

VTBIRD is not an appropriate forum for discussion of computer viruses.  There are many web sites where you can find information and resources related to viruses, hoaxes, chain letters, urban legends, and the like.  Here are a few:

Catch and Cure That Virus!
Symantec Security Response
SANS Reading Room: Security Basics

Computer Associates: Virus Information Center
Computer Virus FAQ for New Users

More Computer Virus FAQs Truth About Computer Virus Myths & Hoaxes
Urban Legends Reference Pages


Here are some links that may help answer a few of the more frequently asked questions on VTBIRD.  It is not my hope to build a comprehensive index of bird-related web sites here.  But, I may add links from time to time if it seems they will be useful for the list.  Feel free to make suggestions.

ABA Code of Birding Ethics for birders
VT Daily Field Card
VT Bird Records Committee (report rarities)
VT Breeding Bird Atlas
Map of Vermont
Vermont Interactive Map Viewer
Google Maps
Map Quest
AOU Check-list of North American Birds
Bird Banding Manual: Alpha Codes and more
USGS-PWRC Bird Banding Laboratory

To correspond with the list owner send email to: Ernie Buford

Updated: 4 January 2010