What are the benefits of subscribing?
Any other questions?
Email Alert allows you to receive selected reports of rare and scarce birds in the UK and Ireland via email to your computer or email-enabled PDA or mobile phone. You can specify reports by rarity category (e.g. all reports of rare and very rare species, wherever they occur), by region (e.g. Northeast England), county (e.g. Northumberland) or species. Emails can be sent out singly (so you receive the news as quickly as possible once we've entered it into our system), or in "daily digests" sent every 24 hours at a time of your choosing. Each Email Alert will tell you the time of the report, the county, site and species, and as much detail as we have available.
You can change your settings as often as you like, including the region, county and species settings, and the address to which your emails are sent, without additional charge. Email Alert can be switched off temporarily, or you can set it up in advance to send emails to different addresses (or not at all) on different days of the week.
A typical Email Alert report might look like this:
It depends on how many of our services you subscribe to:
One-month subscriptions are also available for £5 per service per month.
All first-time visitors to our site are eligible for a three-day trial of our Bird News Extra and Email Alert services, with no obligation to subscribe once the free period is up.
To start a free trial, register (if you have not already done so) and click here. Then select which reports you want to receive just click "Email Alert" on the Bird News page or go directly to the settings page.
The login page does not work if your Internet browser is set up to refuse temporary cookies. You should be able to adjust your browser settings to avoid the problem:
To alter your settings in Internet Explorer 5 on a PC:
In Internet Explorer 6:
In AOL 9.0:
In AOL 8.0:
In Netscape 4:
In Netscape 7:
In Internet Explorer 5 on a Macintosh:
You may need to exit and reopen your browser for the new settings to take effect.
If you are unhappy to allow permanent cookies on your machine, bear in mind that the BirdGuides website will work adequately if you disable "persistent cookies" (though you will have to enter your email address and password every time you log in), but it does require "temporary" or "session" cookies to be enabled such cookies are removed when you close your browser.
Most subscribers should find that when they get to the Bird News Extra login page they see their email address already filled in, and they just need to enter their password to gain access to the site. In order to do this, the website needs to know "who you are" the way it tries to do this is to place a small file called a "cookie" on your hard disk. Every time you visit the page we look for this cookie on the computer you're using if we find it we put up your email address and invite you to supply the matching password. If it doesn't find the cookie we have to ask you for both.
There are several reasons why your cookie may not be found:
No you only need to subscribe once. For example, if you subscribe at home but also check the site from work, you can log in using your home email address on your work computer (or vice versa) we only use the address to identify you and it doesn't have to match the address you normally use on that particular computer. You can use your subscription from any computer, such as one in an Internet café or library, provided you log in using your registered email address with the password allocated to that address.
We use your email address as a user ID. As the service is chargeable, we need a mechanism to prevent non-paying subscribers from obtaining access to the chargeable service, simply by logging in with a known subscriber's email address. A password is the simplest way to achieve this. If you did not choose a password when you registered you will have been allocated a random password click the reminder link on the login page to receive your password by email. You can change your password by clicking Change Details on the login page or "My details" on the main Bird News Extra page.
If you forget your password, there is a link on the login page that will send a reminder (to a registered email address) by email.
Yes just go to the login page, enter your email address and current password, then click the "Change Details" button. You can also access the same page by logging in to Bird News Extra and clicking "My Details" in the left-hand margin.
Please DON'T re-register with your new address you won't be able to access your Email Alert settings using the new login address. Instead, update your existing registration as follows:
NB If your Email Alert messages are set up to go to your old registered email address, we'll automatically update Email Alert so that messages subsequently go to your new address. However if you want to continue having your Email Alerts sent to your old address, or you have set up a different address for Email Alerts, or you want them delivered to an address other than your registered address, or you simply want to check your settings, you can do so via the settings page.
These codes indicate why you've been sent the message:
Occasionally a report way meet more than one of your criteria, in which case you may see two codes (e.g. a national mega in one of your selected counties may show the code [NA] - you won't receive such messages twice).
We allow you to specify two email addresses and send your email alerts to one or other (but not both) depending on the day of the week. We do not allow messages to be sent to both addresses on the same day. It is against the terms and conditions of the Email Alert service to specify a mailing list or other multiple recipient, and doing so could result in termination of your subscription without compensation.
Yes. Go to the settings page, uncheck the box that reads "Send Messages", and click Submit at the bottom of the page. Don't forget to re-enable Email Alert later!
The Email Alert service is generally highly reliable and few reported problems turn out to be down to the service itself. There are a number of possible reasons why some or all of our emails don't arrive:
If you suspect there is a problem with your email address, you can divert your Email Alerts to a different address via the setup page - if you don't have an alternative email address, you might consider setting up a temporary free web-based email account with, for example, Hotmail.
If none of the above suggestions identifies the problem, email quoting your registered email address and, if possible, details of the last message(s) you received.
There are a number of reasons why you might not get a message you were expecting:
One particular situation that often prompts enquiries occurs if you choose First reports only in a certain category, and elect not to receive untwitchable reports. If the first report of a rarity is considered untwitchable, you won't hear about that bird at all - the first report won't be sent because you've asked not to receive news of untwitchable birds, and any subsequent reports won't be because you've asked for First reports only. Of course such a situation only arises if a supposedly "untwitchable" bird is seen subsequently, but this can happen occasionally: the twitchable/untwitchable decision is not always straightforward, especially as first reports are often vague and are received before a rarity has "settled down" and its pattern of occurrence established. As we say in the advice for the "untwitchable" box on the Email Alert settings page, "Of course an "untwitchable" bird may return, or turn up elsewhere...it's possible that if you opt out of untwitchable reports you may miss some potentially interesting reports as a result". If you want to avoid this (fairly unusual) situation occurring, either ask for All reports, or opt in to Untwitchable reports.
No. This may be a feature we add in future releases of the service.
Why do/don't you have Avon, Tyne and Wear, Breconshire, Cleveland, Caithness, etc. in your list of counties?
Our list of counties is a considered compromise between existing and easily defined official regions and traditional birding areas. Thus for example Cleveland is still included, although it no longer exists as an official county, as an Annual Report is still published for the area and many local birders still maintain a Cleveland list. Other areas (e.g. Caithness, Breconshire) have been amalgamated with others to form larger units (e.g. Highland and Powys, respectively) as on their own they are small and/or unproductive of bird reports.
For a list of our counties, with notes where appropriate, click here.
By email: Sightings can be reported by email to . As with the phone number, this is only for bird news and corrections to published reports, and we would prefer not to receive large attachments on this address. General comments and enquiries about the Bird News Extra and Email Alert services, or queries about your subscriptions, should be sent to . Sales enquiries should be sent to .
Via our online Submissions form:
By text message: Text BIRDS RPT followed by your message to 07786 200505.
By phone: To report urgent news, you can phone our freephone number 0333 5772473. We will ask you for the species, site and county, a grid reference if possible, your telephone number and any further details (such as directions or access arrangements). This number is only for reporting bird news sales enquiries about Bird News Extra, Email Alert or other BirdGuides products and services should be directed to our sales number 0800 919391.
All contributions will be vetted by our bird news staff before they appear on the site.
Firstly check that we definitely didn't actually use the report. We sometimes amalgamate sightings from the same or nearby sites into a single report, so it's possible you might overlook the fact that we did mention your bird on another report; also you may have filtered the reports you see or receive such that your own report is not included.
If we haven't used the report it could be for one of several reasons:
All reports are forwarded to the BTO's BirdTrack system (with the exception of the last two categories above) so your report is not lost. We don't intentionally ignore relevant reports without good reason. Please don't feel discouraged if we don't use your report.
Go to our estore, purchase the appropriate product for the number of services you want, and check out. Later in the process you will be asked to choose the services you want.
If you prefer not to subscribe online, we can accept payment for subscriptions by credit card over the phone (on 0800 919391).
If you have never previously subscribed, or your previous subscription (free or otherwise) has expired, your new subscription will start the day you sign up and will run for one calendar month or year from that date, depending on which option you choose.
If you have an existing subscription (free or otherwise) that has not yet expired, your additional subscription period will be added to the end of your current subscription so you don't lose out by renewing early.
If you want to defer the start of your subscription, please .
We are very keen not to be criticised for publishing 'duff' information, as has happened to at least one bird news service. To prevent this we will ensure that our news service is only run by experienced and knowledgeable birdwatchers, who will be able to communicate directly with many of the observers and quiz them directly about any reports that seem unlikely.
In some cases, sightings come from third-party sources, so we won't be able to check them directly and we'll have to rely on the 'quality control' provided by that service. There is no doubt that some sightings will slip through inaccurately but the considerable knowledge of those who run our service should ensure that mistakes are minimal. If you do discover that we've published an inaccurate or inappropriate sighting, please let us know (by emailing ).
We believe our news services provide terrific facilities for birdwatchers to use and enjoy but providing this information is a very expensive operation. We have to pay the members of our news team to gather information from early morning to late evening, every day of the year, plus the salaries of our technical and editorial staff, the costs of maintaining the servers (yes, it needs two of them!) and software, sending out messages, processing photos, updating the British Birds database, adding new facilities, etc. Although we now have many subscribers to our services, the income we get from those subscriptions STILL doesn't even cover our costs, though we're hoping this income will continue to grow so that one day the services will be self-sustaining.
Meanwhile we intend to continue providing a first-class bird news service in a variety of formats that provide better value for money than any other rival services. And for anyone who is unable to pay to access our bird news, we still provide a more basic service free of charge. For details of what is available to subscribers and non-subscribers, click here.
Other bird news services from BirdGuides