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Rules of the Road

What CAN be posted to COBirds?

  1. COBirds is a Google Group ( with over 1400 members for the discussion of Colorado birds. It's all about sharing the fun of birding in Colorado.
  2. About half our messages are rare bird sightings. What is considered rare? Whatever you think is rare or interesting is acceptable, but refer to the Colorado State Rare Bird Review List for an official list of rare birds in Colorado. If you see one of these birds, remember that all sightings are regarded as provisional until confirmed, so don't be offended or discouraged if you are questioned about details.  
    • Report it on COBirds as soon as possible with name of the bird and county in subject line such as "Trumpeter Swan/Boulder County". If not absolutely certain of identification indicate this by using 'probable' or 'possible' in posting. If time permits, mention as much as you can about the rare bird: date, time, plumage, sex, and age, but do not delay initial posting to include these details. Also, include directions or provide a link to a map showing the location, unless the bird might be harmed by visitors. Links to directions listed on the County Birding Website are always acceptable. If you have a photo, don't attach it, instead upload it to a website like Flickr and link to that website in your message. If the rare bird was seen on private property, mention if the landowner is willing to give birders access including any limitations.
    • Please document the bird to the Colorado Bird Records Committee Report Submission Page
  3. Trip details: If you had an interesting outing in Colorado, feel free to post that account so other birders can duplicate your trip or be aware of what interesting birds are out there. If your message is about multiple county sightings state the general location in your subject line such as "NE CO Birding".
  4. Academic news: If you have any interesting ornithological information, opinions, musings, or questions about Colorado birds, please share that on COBirds.
  5. Migration news: if you saw unusual or interesting bird migration movements in Colorado, please feel free to share that, for example, first of season (FOS) sightings in the spring.
  6. Announcements: if you are planning a birding outing anywhere in Colorado or a conference on Colorado Birds, please share that here as long as it is free or sponsored by a non-profit organization.
  7. Photos, bird calls: Images of birds or other subjects directly pertinent to the report may be embedded in the body of the email post. (Do not  include images as attachments to the email.) If you have a website with your photos or bird calls of Colorado birds, feel free to post that web address here from time to time. 
  8. Interesting, rare and chaseable birds in neighboring states can and should be posted to this list.
  9. Political and environmental messages are acceptable as long as they relate to the issue of Colorado's birds.
  10. If you have birding related objects to give away you may send a message of that nature to the list.

What SHOULD NOT be posted to COBirds?

  1. COBirds does not allow any file including pictures to be attached to your message because viruses are spread through attachments. If you have a picture that you want to share, place it on a web page like Flickr, and include the link to it in your message.
  2. Discussions about feral cats and outdoor cats are prohibited.
  3. Discussions about bird feeding technique are not allowed (i.e. what to feed, how to place, which work best. etc.).
  4. Pro-hunting vs. anti-hunting discussions are not allowed. This does not prohibit discussions on the status and effects of hunting on a species or group of species.
  5. Commercial advertising, solicitation, or "For Sale" messages on COBirds are strictly forbidden.
  6. Bird or birding related messages about events, classes or other activities that include a for-profit fee cannot be posted to COBirds.
  7. Trip lists and/or bird related travel reports from outside of Colorado may not be posted on COBirds. If you want to share your trip lists/reports from other locations, please post them on your personal website and then send a single message to COBirds directing subscribers to that location.
  8. Requests for out-of-state hotspots, travel tips, or reference books.
  9. "Test" messages to the list. If you think there is a problem with the list contact the list manager using our contact form.
  10. Profane language of any kind is unacceptable.

How to Post to COBirds

  1. First set up an account at Google
  2. Then go to Google Groups and type in the name of our group: Colorado Birds
  3. At the right side column click on "Apply for Group Membership". Fill in the required information.
  4. The form asks you how you want to receive the messages of other members--no email, abridged email per 100 messages, digest email at one per day, or email which is about 10 emails per day. You can experiment with these choices and change your choice at any time by going to the right column and clicking on "Edit my membership."
  5. Your first few messages to COBirds will be reviewed by the Manager, and if they look okay you will be approved and your subsequent messages will be posted to COBirds immediately. (New members often make the common mistakes mentioned below-- forgot to mention county, forget to sign name with city and state.)

Message Etiquette

  1. All messages should be signed with your full name, city, and state. Anonymous messages will not be accepted.
  2. If you are replying to a COBirds message, Google Group software will automatically copy the original subject line and the original message with all replies below it, with your reply at the very bottom of the chain. Feel free to delete all or some of the text above your reply. This helps members read your reply without scrolling down through replies they already read.
  3. Please do not use 4-letter banding codes to initially identify a bird in the subject line or the body of your message. After you have spelled out the name of the bird at least once, you may then use 4-letter codes (Mourning Warbler/MOWA). Never use 4-letter codes for "lists" of birds. Under these circumstances, names should all be completely spelled out.
  4. Messages referring to a person or organization must be respectful and based in fact.
  5. COBirds subscriber e-mail addresses may not be used for any purpose unrelated to COBirds without the express consent of the individual.
  6. Please write your messages to COBirds using Arial or Times New Roman (or just use the default font of your e-mail program) and only use a black font color. Background colors other than white and/or "stationary" are not allowed.
  7. HTML formatting (such as bold, underlining or italicizing of words) is acceptable if it is being used to add emphasis to a word(s) of importance in your message.
  8. Please select "No Email" in your subscription options BEFORE setting an "auto reply" with your e-mail program.

Most Common Mistakes

  1. Forgetting to put the county name after the bird in the subject line, unless it is irrelevant. This is done so that everyone will quickly know where the bird was seen. COBirds is for the whole state, all 64 counties.
  2. Forgetting to sign your message at the end with your full name, city, and state.

Subscribers who do not follow these guidelines will be placed on moderation by the Manager, meaning your messages will be held for review by the Manager instead of being posted immediately. If the guidelines continue to be ignored, a subscriber may ultimately be blocked from posting.

Subscriber email addresses are never shared, sold or traded with other parties. For questions, concerns, problems or suggestion please contact the Manager. Thanks for subscribing and enjoy COBirds.