Georgia Birders Online - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is GABO?
A: GABO is a discussion list established to provide an online forum for the exchange of information about Georgia’s wild birds. Because it uses the “listserv” protocol, powerful archiving and search tools are available as well.

Q: How do I post a message to the list?
A: Send messages to this address, just as you would any other e-mail:
You may wish to add it to your address book.

Q: How do I respond to a message on GABO?
A: GABO is set up to send your response only to the original poster when you click on the “reply” button in your e-mail client. If you wish to respond to the entire list, you must use your “reply all” button or its equivalent.

Q: Can I post right away?
A: In an attempt to foil certain spammers who join lists merely to send mass mailings, new subscribers are automatically set to “Review” status. This means their initial post will come to an owner for verification before it goes out to the entire list. At that time, legitimate subscribers will have their status changed to “No Review.”

Q: Is there a special format for posts?
A: Posts should have an informative subject line and should always include a signature with the poster’s full name and geographic location. Please also use, at least once, the full name of any birds you mention; this will make searching the archives more productive for all. Post in plain text only – turn html and rich text formatting OFF in your e-mail client. And please turn word-wrap ON; this makes it much easier to read your messages in the archives. Techniques for setting these options vary among different software programs, but are typically found under such toolbar headings as “preferences” or “tools.”

Q: How will I receive GABO posts?
A: You may choose among several subscription types. With “Traditional” you will receive, in your mailbox, all messages posted to the list each day. This is the default format for all new subscribers. With “Digest” you will receive a single consolidated message compilation once each day. With “Index” you will receive a single message each day indexing that day’s posts; you may then follow the links to any messages you wish to read in detail.

Q: How do I change my subscription options?
A: There are two ways to manage your account, via direct commands sent to the listserv server, and interactively in real time on the server itself.
1. Direct command - This method requires that you know specific
commands and their formats. To obtain a list of commands send an e-mail message to with the words INFO REFCARD in the body of the message.
2. Interactively - This method, the easiest, requires that you first
acquire a listserv password. This can be done easily and need only be done once. Simply register your choice at this URL: Your password will be good on any of the thousands of listserv lists at UGA that you choose to subscribe to. With your password, you can make changes to your account under the same URL. Click on the "Subscriber Options" twistee for the "Subscriptions", "Preferences", or "Change Password" selections.

Q: What if I need to stop mail for a while? Or what if I just want to post messages and not receive them?
A: Using one of the methods described above, you can set your account to "NOMAIL" for as long as you like. This will not affect your subscription, and you can set it back to "MAIL" whenever you choose. (The direct command for this is "set gabo-l nomail" in the body of the message and without the quotes, and it should be sent to rather than to the list itself.)

Q: How can I read GABO posts without having all those messages come to my inbox?
A: Set your account to “NOMAIL” using the instructions above. All recent GABO posts (i.e., the latest 50 or so messages) can be viewed at the followings site: (choose "Georgia" from the "States/Provinces" drop-down list).

Q: What if I change my e-mail address?
A: See above directions for interactive account management to change your address. Or you can unsubscribe using the old e-mail address and subscribe using the new, just as you did when you joined the list initially. (To unsubscribe send this message (in the body of the message and without the quotes): "unsubscribe gabo-l" to

Q: What are appropriate topics for discussion?
A: Bird sightings (particularly of rare or unusual birds); birding sites; trip reports; birding event/meeting/trip announcements; bird behavior, biology, and ecology; state or regional bird-related conservation issues (but not politics or arguments); and similar topics pertinent to Georgia and its immediate vicinity. Please use common sense, and feel free to contact an owner if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a given topic.

Q: Are some topics not permitted?
A: Yes. Topics specifically prohibited include caged/pet/domestic birds; the practical aspects of bird feeding; falconry; hunting; political advocacy; general conservation issues; discussion of cat predation on birds; virus alerts. This list is not comprehensive - please once again use common sense and keep in mind the fundamental purposes of the list; countless other lists exist for discussing these and other topics

Q: If bird-feeding isn't an appropriate topic for GABO, may I not report birds at my feeders?
A: It's not the location of the report that's important, but the nature of it - posts should focus not on the repeated reports of day-to-day birds (Most of us could report cardinals and timice at our feeders every day.), but rather on unusual birds, arrival/departure dates, interesting behavior, id help, etc.

Q: Are there size limitations to posts?
A: Messages are limited to 200 lines each.

Q: Are attachments allowed?
A: No. Attachments are a prime source of viruses and are not permitted on GABO. If you wish to share photos with the list, please post them to your own or a photo-share web site, and send a message to GABO that includes a link to the site.

Q: Can I post as often as I like?
A: There are currently no limits to the number of posts an individual can make, but please keep in mind that each of your messages goes to several hundred subscribers and that everyone suffers from a glut of e-mail these days and be considerate and thoughtful in the number and content of your messages.

Q: Are commercial posts permitted?
A: Generally, commercial posts in which the poster has an interest are not allowed, but the title of your business or occupation may be included in your signature.

Q: May I include a signature quote?
A: There is currently no prohibition on this popular practice, but please avoid incendiary and potentially controversial or offensive topics, such as religion and politics.

Q: How do I search the archives?
A: Follow this URL:
Once you have logged on, click on the "Subscriber Options" twistee to expose the "Search Archives" selection if it isn't already listed. Click the "Search Archives" menu selection and enter "GABO-L" (without the quotes) under "List Names" to filter on the GABO-L list.  Click the "GABO-L" link to view the Archive and the series of completion boxes for filters to narrow your searches.

Q: What is the history of GABO?
A: Steve Holzman started GABO-L with a first post on September 16, 1998.
Several states had e-mail lists to facilitate communication among birders, and he felt Georgia could benefit from its own list. Dr. Sara Schweitzer at the Warnell School of Forestry at UGA agreed to be the University sponsor so that GABO could be housed there and utilize listserv software. The list now (2015) has over 1100 members and is an important resource for birders and ornithologists alike.

Q: What if I have additional questions or concerns?
A: Try this site ( for further details or contact a listowner: send a message to GABO-L-request@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU

Q: How do I contact a listowner?
A: Send a message to GABO-L-request@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU