Lists come in two basic types: traditional mailing lists using LISTSERV or
Majordomo-type servers, and the newer more web-based
lists like the ones from Yahoo and Google. The latter two
services are free, making them popular, although I know all to well that the Yahoo servers are not without
their issues. LISTSERV software is, however, notoriously ugly and unfriendly despite attempts to slap lipstick on the pig and
come up with a primitive web interface. List admin glitches aside the birding email lists have revolutionalized birding by enabling
fast and widespread communication of sightings that previously only percolated by word of mouth (or cell phone). Most lists have searchable archives that allow
you do to some research for planning birding trips in unfamiliar areas.
Be aware that subscribing to many email lists is a good way to make your mailbox unmanageably full each morning. I speak from personal experience.
I personally prefer using Gmail email accounts for list subscriptions because saved
messages are searchable by content. Gmail's spam filter is also pretty effective. Yahoo mail would be by second choice.
I do not recommend Hotmail, which doesn't have searchable archives and also doesn't do a good job with spam filtering.
NYC has three dedicated lists for its bird reports.
eBirds NYC started as a bird alert list as far back as 1996, and the latest version is a general sightings list run by
myself as a Yahoo group since 2004. Metro Birding Briefs was created in 2002
as a Yahoo group for rare bird sightings. In 2007 the existing SINaturaList mailing list
converted to a Yahoo group, covering Staten Island.
Email list aggregator via Yahoo pipes for
eBirdsNYC, NYSBirds-L, SINaturaList, BTBlue and the NJ lists - this is a clone of Ben Cacace's considerable update on my simple nycbirds1 list
Note that eBirds NYC is in no way affiliated or associated with Cornell's eBird project
- they just happen to share the same type of name (eBirdsNYC pre-dates Cornell's eBirds).
New York State has a plethora of smaller regional lists and one state-wide list that doesn't manage to replicate all the
important sightings in the other lists - not exactly an ideal situation but that's the way it has evolved.
There's now an archive for the state list via a 3rd party site.