Date: 6/3/19 7:41 am From: 'Tony Futcher' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> Subject: Re: The "Voice" shuts down was: Re: [MDBirding] DC Area, 5/28/2019
Phil, thank you for that list of milestones. It is nostalgic! I started with the phone-up Voice, and quickly got onto Norm's Osprey Nest, until it marched into the sunset.
That 4 Jan 2000 voice pointed me to the three MD birds that I was able to add to my MD list.
Thanks for the memories Phil, and all other contributors to the RBAs in what ever form!
Tony FutcherHyattsville, MD
From: Phil Davis <pdavis...>
To: MDbirding <mdbirding...>
Sent: Sun, Jun 2, 2019 6:47 pm
Subject: The "Voice" shuts down was: Re: [MDBirding] DC Area, 5/28/2019
I want to share my appreciation for the efforts of the Voice of theNaturalist (VON) crew over the many years of operation.
I saw Lydia at the MOS Convention this weekend and personally thanked herfor her efforts, but I want to make sure that my thanks were extended toall of the others that worked on the Voice over the years, up to thepresent.
For all of you young "whippersnappers" out there, (voice)recorded rare bird alerts were our "eBird alerts" of theday.
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) cameon-line where a compiler prepared and recorded a transcript of sightingreports. Observers left voice messages and periodically (usually once aweek, but for some hot spot places, more frequently, even daily) themessages were transcribed by a volunteer and recorded on a voiceanswering machine ...
Then, out west, they started using "bird boxes" which werecomputer-controlled voice recording and playback systems where you addedyour voice message report (if you knew the password) and others couldcall-in and listen to all of the daily reports ...
Then, dial-in modem-based "bulletin boards" (BBS) came induring 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 andmade 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 thecountry to chase rarities, you have to be a master of communicationslogistics (what was available, where, what phone numbers to use,etc.).
Over the years, our area VON provided and filled-in lots of details ofregional rarity reports for our records committee database.
I was hoping that the entire archives of the VON could be captured andarchived, but I now understand that this is not possible, since the oldertranscripts no longer exist. Sigh ...
My personal oldest email copy of the VON (from when the transcript wastyped up and posted to Norm Saunders' MDOsprey listserver) is from 4 Jan2000 (compiled by Lydia and transcribed by Steve Cordle). It featured thefollowing:
- Top birds this week are NORTHERN LAPWING in DE; KELP GULL* andNORTHERN SHRIKE* in MD; and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, andHARRIS' SPARROW in VA.
- Other birds of interest include: waterfowl, raptors including GOLDENEAGLE 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" !
On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, LydiaSchindler <lydia13621...> wrote:
- Hotline: Voice of the Naturalist
- Date: 5/28/2019
- Coverage: MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WVpanhandle
- Reports, comments, questions: <voice...>
- Compiler: Lydia Schindler
- Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society of theCentral
- 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
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