Date: 6/2/19 3:53 pm
From: Phil Davis <pdavis...>
Subject: The "Voice" shuts down was: Re: [MDBirding] DC Area, 5/28/2019
Hi everyone:

I want to share my appreciation for the efforts of the Voice of the
Naturalist (VON) crew over the many years of operation.

I saw Lydia at the MOS Convention this weekend and personally thanked
her for her efforts, but I want to make sure that my thanks were
extended to all of the others that worked on the Voice over the years,
up to the present.

For all of you young "whippersnappers" out there, (voice) recorded
rare bird alerts were our "eBird alerts" of the day.

Let's reflect ...

First (after the telephone was invented <grin>), there were club
"phone trees" to spread the word of rarities ...

Then compiled voice message-input rare bird alerts (like the VON) came
on-line where a compiler prepared and recorded a transcript of
sighting reports. Observers left voice messages and periodically
(usually once a week, but for some hot spot places, more frequently,
even daily) the messages were transcribed by a volunteer and recorded
on a voice answering machine ...

Then, out west, they started using "bird boxes" which were
computer-controlled voice recording and playback systems where you
added your voice message report (if you knew the password) and others
could call-in and listen to all of the daily reports ...

Then, dial-in modem-based "bulletin boards" (BBS) came in during the
early-mid 1990s where alerts could be posted and downloaded "in real
time" ...

Then, in the late 1990s, email listservers sped up the BBS service and
made it more accessible ...

eBird started up in 2002, with eBird alerts following a few years
later ...

And, recall that the iPhone was not available until 2007!


So, in the "old days," when you planned a trip across the country to
chase rarities, you have to be a master of communications logistics
(what was available, where, what phone numbers to use, etc.).


Over the years, our area VON provided and filled-in lots of details of
regional rarity reports for our records committee database.

I was hoping that the entire archives of the VON could be captured and
archived, but I now understand that this is not possible, since the
older transcripts no longer exist. Sigh ...

My personal oldest email copy of the VON (from when the transcript was
typed up and posted to Norm Saunders' MDOsprey listserver) is from 4
Jan 2000 (compiled by Lydia and transcribed by Steve Cordle). It
featured the following:

Top birds this week are NORTHERN LAPWING in DE; KELP GULL* and
NORTHERN SHRIKE* in MD; and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, TOWNSEND'S
WARBLER, and HARRIS' SPARROW in VA.

Other birds of interest include: waterfowl, raptors including
GOLDEN EAGLE and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, WILD TURKEY, KING RAIL,
gulls, SHORT-EARED OWLS, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED
NUTHATCH, sparrows including LARK SPARROW, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and
SNOW BUNTING.

Ah, nostalgia just isn't what it used to be ...

Thanks, again, to all who worked on the "Voice" !

Phil


On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, Lydia Schindler <lydia13621...>
wrote:

Hotline: Voice of the Naturalist

Date: 5/28/2019

Coverage: MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WV panhandle

Reports, comments, questions: <voice...>

Compiler: Lydia Schindler

Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central

Atlantic States (independent of NAS)

Transcriber: Steve Cordle

NOTICE: For more than 40 years the Voice of the Naturalist
has

provided DC area birders with a weekly update of notable

sightings. Initially the Voice was a unique resource, and
each

Tuesday report was eagerly awaited and devoured. Today the

birding community has access to an abundance of

information**, often instantaneous, and it is time: THE
VOICE

OF THE NATURALIST IS RETIRING WITH THIS REPORT.

We thank all of you for your many contributions and your
support, and

we wish you very good birding!

===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA
301-261-0184
<pdavis...>
===================================================

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