LABIRD | Louisiana Bird Resource Office


Sponsored by the Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University

LABIRD, founded in 1996 by Van Remsen, is an email bulletin board devoted to disseminating information on birds and birding in Louisiana. Van Remsen is currently (August 2011) the list manager and problems that are not addressed below can be directed to him. 

Frequent general subjects of postings include: sightings of unusual species; behavior and timing of breeding and migration of Louisiana birds; plants used by birds in Louisiana; conservation issues that affect birds in Louisiana; and field trip reports. A regular feature of LABIRD is "LALIT," postings that alert members to recent literature on Louisiana birds. Another regular feature is "LATALK," postings that alert members to public lectures on birds in Louisiana. 

Sorry, no HOTMAIL accounts allowed on this list -- they are chronic headaches for list managers because of full mailboxes (due to spam deluges) and bounced messages.

Political issues that affect birds can be discussed on LABIRD. Here is the policy:

As long as ...

  • the discussions cover what effect the political issue has on the BIRDS (vs. our personal welfare and interests), and
  • no one asks for MONEY to support a cause, and
  • when one of us urges those on LABIRD to contact a political figure, we refrain from lobbying LABIRDERs to take a particular position in their contact with the political figure. In other words, LABIRD posts should provide facts, and then let the facts speak for themselves one way or another.*

... then it's OK.

Guidelines and rules:

  • be polite and respectful.
  • please do not forward warnings about viruses unless you have first checked these out -- the majority are hoaxes -- e.g., see:
  • please avoid carrying on personal conversations on LABIRD. If a message in your inbox has "[LABIRD]" in the subject line, then a reply to it will normally go to LABIRD as a whole, not just the person who sent the original message. Inadvertently, personal messages are occasionally to the entire list. Keep in mind that LABIRD is set up so that a reply to a message on LABIRD goes to everyone on the list, not just the person who sent the message. It is always a good idea to check the headers in your email program to see where your message is actually going. To minimize this problem, we recently made all LABIRD messages appear with the code "[LABIRD-L]" in the subject line -- therefore, a reply to any such message will be distributed to everyone on the list.
  • please avoid sending messages that are likely of interest to one and only one other person on the list, e.g., simply "congratulations" on finding a good bird, "welcome" messages, and "I'm envious of your good bird." Send them directly to that person, not to the whole list.
  • when responding to and quoting a LABIRD message, please quote only the most relevant portions rather than reproducing the entire original message, especially long ones, so that the message size is minimized. If your email program does not allow you to copy/paste/delete quoted messages, please find one that does.
  • do not distribute attachments to the list, because attachments are the primary vectors for viruses. The listserv program is set up to reject messages with attachments, but do not take chances.

To subscribe:

send message to with only the following as text:

  • subscribe LABIRD-L Your Name
  • [do not expect an instantaneous response -- it may be 24 hrs or longer, especially on weekends, before the list manager can process the request, although the usual wait is a few hours]
  • [if that message is bounced, try hitting a "return" character after your name and see if that works; if that doesn't work, contact Remsen]

To unsubscribe:

to remove your name from the list, send message to: with only the following as text:

  • signoff LABIRD-L
  • [if that message is bounced back to you, try hitting a "return" character after your text and see if that works; if that doesn't work, contact Remsen]

Also please note:

  • Make sure your email program is set to send messages in Plain Text, not HTML (the "web" language often used in internet email programs, especially accounts) or "rich text" format. 
  • If bounced messages are received for 2-3 days in a row (usually due to ISP problems), Remsen will likely delete your address from LABIRD. This shouldn't be taken personally -- he just gets tired of receiving many bounced messages per day. Go ahead and resubscribe when the problem is fixed. Also, as list manager, Remsen gets very tired of processing bounced messages from addresses with ""mailbox over quota." Most are from hotmail or Yahoo accounts, which seem to have a very low quota for incoming messages. If your address bounces with "mailbox full" messages for more than a day, I will likely change your subscription to "digest" mode, i.e., you get only one composite LABIRD message per day.

Those who would rather have this option regardless, see below for for instructions on how to change to "digest" options... 

Another frequent problem is when your postings are rejected by the listserv (with a message that indicates that you are not "authorized" to post messages to LABIRD-L), yet you are still receiving LABIRD messages. This is usually because your email address has been modified by your institution or ISP, yet messages to the old address, i.e., the only one that LABIRD recognizes, are still automatically forwarded to the new one. To fix this, "subscribe" with the new one, and (assuming you can no longer send messages from the old one), ask Remsen to delete the old one manually.

The most frequent mistake made by people when sending messages and commands is using "LABIRD" instead of the name recognized by the listserv software: "LABIRD-L."

For additional information or feedback, contact LABIRD "owner" Remsen. Be aware that he occasionally takes vacations, goes to meetings, etc., so if days go by without an answer to your query, don't take it personally.


Useful commands for LABIRD: 

[if a message is bounced back to you, try hitting a "return" character after your text and see if that works; if that doesn't work, contact Remsen] 

To change addresses:
All you have to do is do the "signoff" routine above for the old one, and "subscribe" with the new one.

To set to "no mail":
If you are worried about exhausting your mailbox capacity, which will cause me to delete you if the problem goes on for more than a couple of days, you can "inactivate" yourself (and then "reactivate" upon return), without having to signoff and then resubscribe, by sending the following command to the listserv:


(and then, to reactivate: SET LABIRD-L MAIL)

Digest format
Another solution to the "out-of-town" situation (or to mailbox clutter in general), if you want to still see what has been happening, is to get only 1 message per day from the list, a "digest" with all the messages.


(and then, to change back: SET LABIRD-L NODIGESTS)

To contact others on LABIRD

Rather than send a message to all members of LABIRD to see if someone knows someone else's email address, please first send the following command to :


The list you receive is organized by alphabetically by ISP, unfortunately, so to find a name, you have to use your email program's Search function or copy the entire list into your word-processing program.

Archives: LABIRD is archived at LSU, but to save disk space, the oldest year's messages are occasionally deleted. The archives may be accessed in a number of ways. First, you may retrieve the entire index. Simply send a message to the with the following message:


Make sure that the requests are sent to the listserver, not the list.

Second, you may actually search the archive. Let's assume that you would like to search for all reports on Inca Dove. Send the following message to the listserver:


You will then receive a list of all messages that contain a direct reference to Inca Doves. Once you have chosen a message to retrieve, send another request to the listserver as follows:


Most people will want to use the SEARCH feature when reviewing the archives.

Once you have received the index, you may retrieve any message as follows. Send a message to the listserver with the following message:


** Header Image is White Ibis by Brogan Fairchild **