SE-MI-Birdlist Guidelines and Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is SE-MI-Birdlist?
Southeast Michigan Birdlist is a local/regional email list for reporting unusual bird sightings in the Southeast Michigan area.
How do I join?
To subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org send an email to
and include "SUBSCRIBE SE-MI-BIRDLIST Your Name" (without the quotes) in the subject line or as a one-line message. Here, 'Your Name' is optional.
You can also subscribe at
You can select your own preference for type of delivery of postings. Select Your Settings and then set Status to one of the following:
Example - To turn off your se-mi-birdlist mail for a while send a blank message with Subject line "set se-mi-birdlist nomail" to email@example.com. To resume receiving mail do the same except use the command "set se-mi-birdlist mail".
If you are away for a while and let your mailbox fill up (having not sent a "nomail" command to the listserver), you may find that even after emptying your mailbox you are not receiving SE MI Birdlist postings. The solution to this is to unsubscribe and then resubscribe.
How do I resign?
You may unsubscribe from firstname.lastname@example.org with an email having UNSUBSCRIBE SE-MI-BIRDLIST in the subject line or in the body of the message. Send the email to
email@example.comYou must send your unsubscribe request from the same email address that you want to unsubscribe. If this is not possible, you will need to unsubscribe at the listserver web page.
How do I get more information about this list?
The FAQ for SE-MI-Birdlist is available online at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~auntyem/SE-MI-Birdlist.html. Any questions about the list (including subscribing and resigning) should be directed to request-SE-MI-Birdlist@umich.edu, and NOT to the entire email group.
How many messages will I get if I join?
We currently get about 1-2 messages a day, but the traffic varies with the abundance of rarities in our area.
Who are the members?
We welcome birders of all skill levels who have an email address. The primary focus of this group is on intermediate to advanced birding/listing topics in the southeast Michigan region. It is recommended that beginners and newcomers to the area "lurk" on the list for a while before posting, to get an idea of what types of topics are appropriate. There are approximately 190 members of SE-MI-Birdlist as of November 2002.
How do I post to SE-MI-Birdlist?
Simply send an email message to SE-MI-Birdlist@umich.edu. Please review the following sections for posting guidelines and appropriate topics.
What topics are appropriate?
Reports of unusual bird sightings from the Southeast Michigan area. For the purposes of this list, the following definitions apply:
The "Southeast Michigan" area includes the counties of Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne.
"Unusual bird sightings" generally meet one or more of the following criteria:
a species that is rarely found in the southeastern Michigan area. This includes any species that are regionally OR locally unusual. A good rule of thumb is that if a species is listed as a finding code 6 or higher in The Birds of Washtenaw County, it is appropriate for this group.
a species that is out of season. This includes unusually early or late migrants. Again, refer to The Birds of Washtenaw County for recorded early and late dates by species.
first sightings of a species for a season in the local area.
unusually high numbers of a species (e.g., 30 ruddy ducks at Trinkle marsh).
Big day reports.
Migration reports. These include brief reports highlighting migrant species in the area based on a significant birding effort. (For example, a list of spring warblers seen during a few hours of birding in the Arb). Weekly hawkwatch and crane count reports are also appropriate here.
Trip reports. Highlights of birding trips outside the Southeast Michigan region.
Brief technical discussions of difficult identifications. (For example, clarification on the identification of a Rufous/Allen's hummingbird in Fowlerville, or a Pacific/Arctic Loon at Hidden Lake).
Significant corrections and updates to previous SE-MI-Birdlist reports are also encouraged.
What topics are NOT appropriate for SE-MI-Birdlist?
In general, if your message does not fall into one of the above categories, post it to firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
Questions or discussions about postings should usually be directed to the individual sender or to email@example.com instead of back to SE-MI-Birdlist. If a question or answer serve to significantly clarify a previous post, it may be forwarded to the entire group.
FLAMES (derogatory comments against other list members) WILL NOT BE TOLERATED ON THIS LIST. FLAMES IN RESPONSE TO OTHER FLAMES ARE ALSO UNACCEPTABLE. Any problems with a list member should be taken up with them in private.
Violations of any group guidelines will be dealt with by the list administrators via personal email, and repeated violations are grounds for dismissal from the list. If you feel the urge to voice a concern about improper use of the list, please send it to the list administrators at request-SE-MI-Birdlist@umich.edu and do not post it to the entire list.
What is the proper format for posting to SE-MI-Birdlist?
In the subject line of the message, always include the following (in any order):
Rare bird reports: species, location, & date
Big day reports: the words "big day", area covered, & date
Migration reports: location & date
Trip reports: the words "trip report", general location, and date
ID discussions: the species being discussed
In the body of the message:
In all reports, please include your name.
Whenever referring to a location that many birders on the list may be unfamiliar with, please include detailed directions. If a particular place is in the DeLorme Atlas for Michigan, it is only necessary to give the name of the place and the county. Otherwise, give detailed directions in the form of nearest road intersections or addresses.
When posting in paragraph format, it is helpful to put all references to bird species in UPPERCASE.
In migration reports and other lists, it is often desirable to list each species, one per line at the beginning of the report, followed by comments and discussion at the end of the report.
Subject line examples...
Yellow-billed Loon, Ann Arbor, 1-28
Big day: Washtenaw County, 11-24
Dolph Park warblers, Saturday morning
Trip report: Colorado, June 15-30
Glossy/White-faced Ibis ID
Why was SE-MI-Birdlist created?
SE-MI-Birdlist was created in 1998 to fill a niche between a local chat-oriented group (birders) and a statewide listers group (mich-listers). It was designed for birders who want access to significant, timely bird sighting information in Southeast Michigan, with a limited amount of clutter in their mailbox. The Birders email group has been in existence for several years, and serves a valuable role as a general birding discussion group for the region. For more information about the Birders group, see the FAQ at http://www.umich.edu/~bbowman/birds/birders_FAQ.html. Many local birders may choose to subscribe to both SE-MI-Birdlist and Birders. Regional rare bird reports that would be of statewide interest can also be posted to firstname.lastname@example.org. But, SE-MI-Birdlist covers sightings that may be unusual for SE Michigan, but not necessarily rare elsewhere in the state.
Who are the current administrators of this group?
Mary Cypher (email@example.com) is currently the administrator for SE-MI-Birdlist. Special 'guest' administrators (usually Bruce Bowman, who administers the firstname.lastname@example.org list, take over when Mary is gone for extended periods of time.
Where do I get more information about birding in Southeast Michigan?
On the web:
SE Michigan Birding: http://www.umich.edu/~bbowman/birds/al_brushaber/mi_bird.html
Michigan Birding Home Page: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~auntyem/michigan.html
Rare Bird Alerts:
Detroit-Windsor Rare Bird Alert (248-477-1360)
Michigan Statewide Rare Bird Alert (616-471-4919)
(Both RBAs can be found on the above web sites, and are also posted to BIRDCNTR and email@example.com)
Other email groups:
firstname.lastname@example.org -- the FAQ is available at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbowman/birds/birders_FAQ.html
email@example.com -- the FAQ is available at http://www.jlesser.com/mich-listers.htm -- Send subscription requests to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following text in the message body: SUBSCRIBE MICH-LISTERS Your Name
Regional birding books and references:
Craves, J.A. 1996. Birds of Southeast Michigan: Dearborn: Wayne County. Bloomfield Hills: Cranbrook Institute of Science. 142 pp.
DeLorme Michigan Atlas and Gazetteer.
Kielb, M.A., J.M. Swales, and R.A. Wolinski. 1992. The Birds of Washtenaw County, Michigan. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 261 pp.
Back to the Michigan Birding Homepage
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Last updated on 16 August 1998.