MOU Listservice

MOU Sponsored E-mail Listservices


Welcome to the mou-net and mou-rba mailing lists operated by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU). mou-net and mou-rba are electronic mailing lists available to all persons interested in the birds of Minnesota.

mou-net is a place where birders can share their sightings - notable or otherwise - with other interested people. We particularly invite posts of observations that contribute to the understanding of the birds in the state. This includes sightings of birds that are unusual, in an unusual location or out of season, or present in significantly higher numbers than normally expected.

mou-rba is a place where birders can share their notable sightings with other interested people. This includes sightings of birds that are unusual, in an unusual location or out of season, or present in significantly higher numbers than normally expected.

All mail posted to mou-rba is forwarded to mou-net, and all "notable sightings" are forwarded from mou-net to mou-rba. You only need to subscribe to one of the mailing lists. Subscribe to mou-rba if you only want "notable sightings" and subscribe to mou-net if you want all postings.

The MOU will send out transcripts of its telelphone hotlines to people subscribed to either mailing list.

mou-net is also a place where you can ask questions or make observations regarding the identification, behavior, and natural history of birds in Minnesota. Postings about birding locations and about references on birds (e.g., journal articles, books, websites, etc.) are also invited. Finally, it is available for conducting or reporting on the business of the MOU and its affiliated clubs. These postings might include announcements of planned activities (such as a field trip, birding festival, etc.) or simply be notices of upcoming meetings.

The MOU keeps a current log of messages posted to mou-net on our mou-net Transcripts Page and a log of messages posted to mou-rba on our mou-rba Transcripts Page.

An archive of messages posted on our previous server for mou-net is available on mou-net; an archive of messages posted on our previous server for mou-rba is available on mou-rba.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

Using e-mail

To subscribe to this list using e-mail, send the following e-mail message:

Text: SUBSCRIBE mou-net Firstname Lastname

To unsubscribe from this list using e-mail, send the following e-mail message:

Text: UNSUBSCRIBE mou-net

To subscribe or unsubscribe from mou-rba substitute mou-rba for mou-net in the above instructions.

Posting to the Net

Only members of the net are allowed to post to these nets. If you expect to post to mou-rba, and are signed up to receive from mou-net, you must sign up for mou-rba and then set the nomail option. You can change your options for mou-net and mou-rba.


Please limit your posts to the areas described above; mou-net is not the place for advertising products or services (unless sponsored or endorsed by the MOU or its affiliates), birding trip reports outside of Minnesota, limited debates between just a few individuals, personal musings and monologues, or surveys about personal experiences. Consider that it's often more appropriate to respond to someone's posting with a private e-mail rather than a public response on mou-net.

If these lists lose focus, then they also lose their value. There are other mailing lists available for people interested in other issues. Of course, different people have different views as to what constitutes a "notable" bird sighting or an appropriate posting. Ultimately, you are the only person who can judge what is important to you and what may be to others, and your decision to post a sighting or other reasonable message here will be respected.

This is an open mailing list. Unless noted otherwise, messages are posted here by individuals, not by the MOU as an organization. No effort is made to review messages prior to their dissemination to subscribers. There is no guarantee of the accuracy of any message (including reports of rarities - note that some are never confirmed or documented).

Messages must be courteous and respectful of others. People who flagrantly or repeatedly abuse this expectation could see their posting privileges revoked, either temporarily or permanently. Presumably this action will never be required.


In order to protect the privacy and property rights of people who host rare or unusual birds, mou-net and mou-rba have adopted the following policy regarding the posting of addresses.

No private addresses are to be broadcast on mou-net or mou-rba without prior permission from the homeowner/landowner. If you include such an address, include the name of the person who received permission for such an announcement. If you "know" or assume permission has been granted but do not know who received this permission, do not post the address.

If permission has been granted with conditions (e.g., only from 9AM - 4PM, only at most 5 people in the yard at one time, check in with homeowner before entering yard, etc.) include such conditions in your message. If you are the one to procure permission through direct conversation with the homeowner, be explicit with them as to what they can expect and ask them what conditions they would like to impose on birders. You might even volunteer some conditions, such as "not before 9 AM", since it may not occur to them that someone might be in their yard at 5AM looking for a bird.

Finally, do not assume that permission for birders to visit is the same as permission to post it to mou-net or mou-rba.

mou-net Contacts

David Cahlander for operational or technical issues.

If you ever need to get in contact with the owner of the list, (if you have trouble unsubscribing, or have questions about the list itself) send email to <>. This is the general rule for most mailing lists when you need to contact a human.

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