Guidelines for The Muskoka Bird Board

The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of birds and other nature sightings in and around the Muskoka area of Ontario, Canada. Reports are welcome from surrounding areas such as Parry Sound, Midland, Orillia, Haliburton, Algonquin Park, North Bay, etc. Announcements of birding or nature related events and field trips are also very welcome. You may also post a question about birds or birding in general. Do not post any product or services advertisement without permission of the administrator.

You don't have to enter your email address when posting a report. Please include the location of your sighting - even the nearest town or major crossroads would be fine.

A copy of recent Bird Board reports is kept up-to-date on a back-up webpage. Notices will be posted there in the event of any problems with the Bird Board hosting service.

Questions or comments may be emailed to Barbara Taylor, administrator of the Bird Board.


Bird Board Helpful Tips:

Before you can post a message you must register. Only your name and a password are required. This is to prevent spambots from posting on the board.

To report your sightings, click on "post a new message", fill in the posting form, then click "post". You don't have to include your email address.

Each message is automatically posted to the Bird Board with a time and date stamp. A newly posted message will appear at the top of the Bird Board, unless it is a reply to an older message. A reply will appear under the older message.

All messages posted to the Bird Board within the past 24 hours will have their time and date information highlighted in white. This will help you quickly find any new reply messages as you scroll down the page.

When filling out a posting form, you can enter a subject line up to 100 characters long and your name can be up to 40 characters long.

To reply to someone's message, first open the message, then fill out the posting form below the message. The subject line will already be entered for you, but you can make changes if you’d like.

Use your keyboard’s "tab" key to move through the posting form, or click in each new section with your mouse. Once your cursor is in the message box area, you can use the "enter" key to make new paragraphs.

You can choose to preview your post before sending it to the Bird Board. Don’t worry if you hit your keyboard's "enter" key accidentally while moving through the posting form - your message won't get sent until you click on "post".

You can edit your message after you've posted it. Open your message, click on Edit, enter your password, and then make your changes. Please only change minor details of your report using the edit function. If you need to correct an ID please post a reply to your original message stating the change. That way nobody will miss an important correction.

You can choose to receive an automated email notification whenever someone posts a reply to one of your messages. Just make sure you have entered your email address in the posting form, and check off the box at the bottom of the form to request the email. You won’t receive any notification unless you request it when you post your message.

You can compose your message before going online. Use your word processing software to type out your message, then copy the text. When you go online, simply paste the text into the Bird Board message box. Just remember to fill in your name and subject line too.

Include a link to a website at the bottom of your message by typing a website description (name) and the website address (url) in the "Link Name" and "Link URL" sections under the message box. A clickable link to this website will then appear under your message. Remember to include the "http://" part of the website address.

Include an image in your message by typing the web address (url) that leads to a specific image file into the "Image URL" section. Then when someone opens your post, the image will automatically appear on the Bird Board above your typed message. This works only for a single image file, not a website that contains many images.

You can also place multiple photos right in your message wherever you want them, by adding simple "IMG tags".  For some examples of tags, click here .

Include hyperlinks (clickable links) within your typed message by adding simple "URL tags". This feature comes in handy when including references to other websites. For examples and further details, click here. The basic format is simply:   [url][/url]

You can find more help about posting photos and test out some posts on the Nature Photos Board.

The Bird Board’s "Search" feature lets you search through all ten pages of posted messages. You can search for specific words or a phrase (don’t need to use capital letters). If you are looking for messages about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds for example, you might have to try "hummer" as well as hummingbird since many people use that nickname for the bird.

You can choose to view a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours, or those posted in the past 7 days by clicking the appropriate link at the top of the Bird Board.

As older messages automatically drop off the Bird Board, you will still be able to access these messages via the Archived Reports webpage.  You can read these reports online or you can choose to download all available reports to your computer.

To search through an archived reports page, you can use your browser’s "Edit"-"Find" command in the browser menu bar.

The Bird Board back-up webpage and any of the archived reports can be saved to your computer if you want to read messages offline. (instructions)

You can increase the size of the text on the Bird Board by using your browser's "View"-"Text Size" or "Zoom" command in the browser menu bar.

GOOD NEWS - I've arranged to have the board ad-free for a while. At some point though, this may end. Then you will once again find some annoying pop-up ads and banner ads, but that is the "cost" of free message boards these days. I have no control over the placement or content of the ads. The Boards2Go hosting service provides free message boards since they can generate revenue by placing advertisements on the boards.

Click the Other Nature Websites link near the top of the message board to browse my collection of interesting nature websites.

In case of any major problems with the Bird Board’s hosting service, I will place "Important Notices" on the Muskoka Bird Board back-up webpage. So check there if you are experiencing problems with the Bird Board.

There may be times that you won't be able to reach the Bird Board because the server is down, however, this does not happen very often. If you routinely have trouble accessing the board, then something else is occurring. In that case, please contact me so I can sort out why you are having the trouble.

Every once in a while a spammer will post an inappropriate message. Please ignore these posts and I will delete them as soon as I become aware of one. To try and control this problem I have had to ban some spammers from being able to post. If you attempt to post a message and see a notice that you are "banned", it is probably because I had to ban someone with the same Internet Service Provider that you use. Send me an email and I will fix it so you can still post.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you have questions or want to bring my attention to something, please send an email. I will answer you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor

Return to The Muskoka Bird Board