Today is the day.

To all who enjoy this list, whether subscribers or readers from the many
forums that carry the messages sent to FLORIDABIRDS-L, including all of you
who are far away  from Florida!

       A drum roll, please, for HAPPY BIRTHDAY # 3!!!

Yes, it seems just like yesterday when I first went online on July 13,2000,
thanks to the University of Florida, with this list.

But so many interesting, more than that, glorious birds continue to be
reported and discussed, I continue to be overwhelmed.  As Judy Fisher knows,
this includes even the more common ones, since I corresponded with her last
week about the role of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the coastal areas of
Florida.  There is always something to learn.

Now we have been mesmerized by the world discussion on ID-Frontiers of the
jaeger photographed for Florida birders by Bob Richter and Charles Buhrman.
This brings us to the development which has enthralled me this year of
having an official website with a page devoted solely to photos of Florida
birds (not overlooking the establishment of a permanent archive of Florida
birds since websites tend to come and go).  If you haven't looked at the
Members Photo page in a while, take a moment to see FloridaBirds-L Members
Photos page:

I might add that, if you haven't, many have. In just the few months since it
began, there have been over 20,000 hits from around the world, including the
following countries (the counter may have omitted some because of the now
nearly universal use of ".net" which makes it impossible for the sorter to
catch them as being from foreign countries):

United Kingdom (.UK)

The countries are listed in the order of the number of hits from each
country and the "caps" are the counter's, not mine.  I cannot explain why
United Kingdom is not in caps; my apologies to you faithful UKers.  It is
not surprising that our neighbor to the north, Canada, leads the list.  We
share most of our birds with them and they with us.   To all of you beyond
our national borders, thank you for your interest and participation.

Within the continental United States, the State of Florida stands with Texas
and California as being a center of birding interest, and I get the feeling
from the interest we get, that we are on the rise.

Subscription stands at 734 subscribers, an amazing number.  The number will
grow seasonally as the "snowbirds" return, some of whom are on the way.  In
addition there are of course several other lists in the state, with the
largest having a subscription of 321, next 203, 169, etc.  One of them has
been added since this list began, and each has an important niche in the
total picture. As I predicted when I started this list and asked the then
existing lists to continue, they add to the general birding interest in the
state and have their own philosophies and reasons for existing.  I subscribe
to a couple of them myself whose posters concentrate on areas where it is
possible for me to get to.  Others I read from their archives which I
encourage you to do also.

To all of you who send your sightings, rare and common, to this list, or
open or participate in discussions about Florida birds, past and present, my
personal thanks for making this effort worthwhile.

If those of you reading this who are not subscribed and desire to subscribe,
the instructions are on the web at:

If you wish to correspond directly with me or my co-listowner, Keith
MacVicar, send your message to [log in to unmask]
(Remember, this address is in the bottom banner of every message.)

Many happy returns of the day, FLORIDABIRDerS!

Barbara Passmore

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