Pager services from RBA

Since 1991 Rare Bird Alert has been the UK's premier, top quality birdnews information service. To this day, pagers are still the most highly efficient way to receive birdnews in the field. They work in almost every corner of the country, unlike mobile phones which have plenty of "reception black holes" especially in popular birding areas. Our flexible news service suits all kinds of birders, from those who twitch rarities, others whose aim it is to see as much as possible locally, and birders who only get into the field occasionally in their spare time. Whatever your level of interest, if you have all the relevant, quality, up-to-the-minute information, you will see more birds. The best way to achieve that is with an RBA pager. No-one should ever have to say "if only I had heard earlier..."

 

Existing RBA subscribers
RBA pager subscribers - Upgrade here
RBA website and SMS subscribers - upgrade to a pager (below or by phone) and the credit you currently have on your account will be added to your pager subscription.

 

Birdnet pager customers
Changeover to RBA today and get the great deal below plus a FREE X3 pager - details here
PLUS - for a limited time - we will pay your Birdnet cancellation fee! Ask for details today.

 

New Subscribers
All the details and links you need are down this page

 

Why choose Rare Bird Alert?

Since 1991 we have been transmitting birdnews to birders in the field, all day/every day: 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Sending in excess of 80,000 messages every year to every kind of birder, our aim is to ensure that you efficiently hear about the best birds as soon as possible, thus dramatically increasing your chance of seeing those that you want to. Nobody should ever have to say "if only I'd heard earlier...." 

Our birdnews team is second to none! Led by Chris Batty, a respected member of the British Birds Rarities Committee, and ably assisted by the very experienced Stuart Piner and Will Soar, all of them are active and experienced birders in their own right, and well placed to gather reliable birdnews from a whole host of sources including birders in the field, websites, blogs and email groups. RBA are the only birdnews information company to call all the premium rate regional Birdlines regularly throughout the day, gathering birdnews from them that nobody else does. This comprehensive approach means you can be confident you are hearing about all the birdnews all of the time. We transmit birdnews as soon as we receive it and our customers receive it on their pagers less than 1 minute later, meaning you are always right up to date with the very latest news.

Why choose a pager for your birdnews?

One reason above all To this day, pagers are still the most highly efficient way to receive birdnews in the field. They work in almost every corner of the country, unlike mobile phones which have plenty of "reception black holes" especially in popular birding areas: If you are birding in a mobile phone "black hole", there should be no need to wonder what the latest news is - as it will all be on your pager, precisely when you need it the most. In the unlikely event that the pager doesn't work there either, then use your mobile to check as soon as you are back in range. The RBA phone Apps are the the best that there are.  NB, compared to services such as text messaging, they are, message for message, the most cost effective way to be alerted to the most up-to-the-minute news.

We offer a range of different pager services to suit all kinds of birders, from those who only bird locally, and maybe only occasionally, right through to the most ardent twitchers who will travel far and wide.

With services starting from 40p per day for unlimited local news, pagers are far more cost effective than text messaging services, as with a pager, you pay a fixed price for your birdnews, no matter how much news we send you.  You do not need to constantly tell the system what news you want and you don't have to worry about topping up credits either.

Other reasons to choose a pager for your birdnews

  • Fixed price for your birdnews: No matter how many messages we send you always pay the same price. No roaming charges, no data charges either.

  • Instant alerts in the field: Unlike calling expensive birdlines or laboriously browsing websites on your phone in the field, pagers simply alert you as soon as we break the news.  Even if your phone is in service, unless you really can keep checking every few seconds, you are likely to ignore yet another alert on it and thus will, sooner or later, miss a really good bird.

  • Easy to use: Just switch it on and the pager will do the rest. Unlike mobile phones you don't need to keep telling it what you want to hear about. The pager is for birdnews and doesn't get cluttered with other messages. You won't be without news because a long call drained your battery either! And you can't run out of credit or data allowance on your pager.

  • No maintenance: You don't need to delete messages to make sure you have space, the pager will delete the oldest message so you always have room for the latest news.

Why choose the X3 pager?

Flexibility
Our X3 pager has been designed specially for RBA and puts you in complete control of the news you receive. It is the only birding pager which allows you to choose (and change) which areas you get news from, so whether you are spending a long weekend in Norfolk, a week in Scotland or a few weeks on Scilly you will have the birdnews that matters most to you, at the times when you want it.

Key features of the X3 pager:

 
  • Easily changeable birdnews
    Change your local areas whenever you want
  • X3 Mega Alert - controllable and instant
    Set any tone or priority level you want for your mega alert
  • Set different alerts and priority levels
    Each news folder can be customised individually, so you can change (or silence) each folderís alert to whatever suits you.
  • Big memory
    The X3 stores 250 messages
  • Rugged and durable
    Designed for use in harsh operating environments, the X3 has splash and dustproof protection and a toughened front plate, making it perfect for birding.
  • Three sizes of text
    Use the X3 menu to make reading the news even easier. Choose from 3 fonts sizes, each in 'bold' or 'not bold'.
Pager comparison

Below you will find a table comparing the features of our two pagers. 

The X3 pager has set a new standard in paging since 2009 and offers unrivalled flexibility, a wealth of features and with its rugged and durable construction its the ideal pager for the active birder.  The X3 pager is available with our Platinum, Gold, Silver and SilverPlus subscriptions.

Our 21a pager was our premier pager for many years until 2009 and is still an excellent pager, only bettered by our X3. It is still available with our Bronze subscription, for which it is more than 'up-to-the-job' but note that the 21a does not allow you to change your local area unless you send the pager back to RBA.

 
 

Pager Type

 
Features   X3   21a  
Changeable birdnews folders        
Full instant mega alert        
Individual folder alerts        
Folder priority alerts        
Keyword Alerts        
Variable text sizes        
Variable alert duration        
Holster lock        
Preview mode      
Personal paging      
Clock      
Alarm Clock      
Alert tone choices   20   11  
Message memory   250   125  

How does our X3 pager service work?

You choose a Subscription e.g.. Platinum, Gold, SilverPlus or Silver which determines what kind of and how many 'Birdnews Folders' you can subscribe to at a time.

Then, when you receive your pager, you select which birdnews folders you want, and you start receiving news immediately.

Whenever you want to change the birdnews folders on your pager, use the pager's menu to do so at any time, and as often as you like. You will be limited to the maximum number of folders that your subscription allows.

Birdnews folders

Birdnews folders are the pagerís mailboxes into which the news drops. There are three different categories, described below. Your RBA subscription level determines how many folders from each category you can access at any one time. 

You can easily select any of the folders using the pagerís menu. E.G. if you go away for the weekend, simply switch one of your Local folders to the one for the area that you are visiting.

Two National folders with news for the whole of the UK and Ireland as follows

  • National - for all news (every update) on all scarce, rare and mega birds
  • Earlybird - for any very early morning updates on megas.
Three Rarity folders with news for the whole of the UK and Ireland as follows
  • Breaking Megas - for first alerts of megas (no updates thereafter).
  • Breaking Rarities - for first alerts of all rarities and megas (no updates thereafter).
  • Rarities - for first reports and all updates thereafter, of rarities and megas.  
21 Local folders each one with all the news for just a couple of counties.
  • Switch easily between any of these local areas whenever you want, as often as you want
    See a map of the areas covered by each local folder HERE
Species covered by each folder
For a guide to the species covered by the different types of birdnews folders, see our species list HERE

Subscriptions

Our Platinum, Gold, SilverPlus, Silver and Bronze subscription levels are described below.

You can choose to either purchase or rent a pager from us.  Purchasing a pager outright reduces your ongoing costs by £60 per year. We offer trade-in deals for upgrades, and we have a buy-back scheme for "cared-for pagers" at the end of contract.



*** LIMITED SPECIAL OFFER ***   

  • For a limited period, for new customers, "X3" pagers are On Special Offer at £9.99 (whilst stocks last). These are refurbished pagers with a no-quibble 3-month warranty.
  • PLUS: One month free birdnews when you sign up today.
  •  
    Pager Type: X3 Pager  
    Birdnews included: Both National folders, all 3 Rarity folders, 4 Local folders
    folders all fully flexible: changeable whenever you want
    Also included:
  • Free Mega Alert text messages to your mobile
  • Subscription to our website - RBA Online
  • Subscription to FirstAlert - our SMS service - plus 35 free messages
  •  
     
    Costs:

    Initial start-up costs

    Rent an X3 pager £0.00, select rental when ordering
    or
    Buy an X3 pager On Special Offer at £9.99, select purchase when ordering
    plus
    RBA annual subscription £35.25
    plus
    First month of birdnews £0.00

    Ongoing birdnews fees

    With a purchased pager   With a rental pager
    Monthly Quarterly Annually   Monthly Quarterly Annually
    £18.99 £53.50 £209.00   £23.99 £68.50 £269.00  

    Prices are for ongoing fees paid by standing order. Alternatively, you can pay your recurring fees by card or invoice, but in that instance there will be a small admin charge.

     

     
    Pager Type: X3 Pager
    Birdnews included: 1 Rarity folder, 4 Local folders
    folders fully flexible: changeable whenever you want
    Also included:
  • Subscription to our website - RBA Online
  •  
     
    Costs:

    Initial start-up costs

    Rent an X3 pager £0.00, select rental when ordering
    or
    Buy an X3 pager On Special Offer at £9.99, select purchase when ordering
    plus
    RBA annual subscription £35.25
    plus
    First months birdnews £0.00

    Ongoing birdnews fees

    Pager purchase contract   Pager rental contract
    Monthly Quarterly Annually   Monthly Quarterly Annually  
    £16.99 £47.50 £180.00   £21.99 £62.50 £240.00  

    Prices are for ongoing fees paid by standing order. Alternatively, you can pay your recurring fees by card or invoice, but in that instance there will be a small admin charge.

     

    Pager Type: X3 Pager
    Birdnews included: 3 Local folders
    folders fully flexible: changeable whenever you want
    Also included:
  • Subscription to our website - RBA Online
  •  
     
    Costs:

    Initial start-up costs

    Rent an X3 pager £0.00, select rental when ordering
    or
    Buy an X3 pager On Special Offer at £9.99, select purchase when ordering
    plus
    RBA annual subscription £35.25
    plus
    First month of birdnews £0.00

    Ongoing birdnews fees

    Pager purchase contract   Pager rental contract
    Monthly Quarterly Annually   Monthly Quarterly Annually  
    £12.99 £35.50 £135.00   £17.99 £50.50 £195.00  

    Prices are for ongoing fees paid by standing order. Alternatively, you can pay your recurring fees by card or invoice, but in that instance there will be a small admin charge.

     

     
    Pager Type: X3 Pager
    Birdnews included: 2 Local folders
    folders fully flexible: changeable whenever you want
    Also included:
  • Subscription to our website - RBA Online
  •  
     
    Costs:

    Initial start-up costs

    Rent an X3 pager £0.00, select rental when ordering
    or
    Buy an X3 pager On Special Offer at £9.99, select purchase when ordering
    plus
    RBA annual subscription £35.25
    plus
    First month of birdnews £0.00

    Ongoing birdnews fees

    Pager purchase contract   Pager rental contract
    Monthly Quarterly Annually   Monthly Quarterly Annually  
    £11.99 £32.50 £120.00   £16.99 £47.50 £180.00  

    Prices are for ongoing fees paid by standing order. Alternatively, you can pay your recurring fees by card or invoice, but in that instance there will be a small admin charge.

     

     
    Pager Type: 21a Pager - free rental included with this subscription
    Birdnews  included: 1 Local folder - which can only be changed at the RBA office
    Also included:
  • Subscription to our website - RBA Online
  •  
     
    Costs:

    Initial start-up costs

    Rent a 21a pager: £0.00
    plus
    RBA annual subscription £35.25
    plus
    First month of birdnews £0.00

    Ongoing birdnews fees

    Pager purchase contract   Pager rental contract
    Monthly Quarterly Annually   Monthly Quarterly Annually  
    n/a n/a n/a   £10.99 £29.99 £99.00  

    Prices are for ongoing fees paid by standing order. Alternatively, you can pay your recurring fees by card or invoice, but in that instance there will be a small admin charge.

     

     

    Compare subscription costs

    Set price: No matter how much news you receive, you always pay the same price.

    Save money by paying quarterly, and save even more by paying annually 

      Ongoing information costs
      Birdnews folders   Pager purchase contract   Pager rental contract
    Service National Rarities Local   Monthly Quarterly Annually   Monthly Quarterly Annually  
    Platinum 2 3 4   £18.99 £53.50 £209.00   £23.99 £68.50 £269.00  
    Gold - 1 4   £16.99 £47.50 £180.00   £21.99 £62.50 £240.00  
    Silver plus - - 3   £12.99 £35.50 £135.00   £17.99 £50.50 £195.00  
    Silver - - 2   £11.99 £32.50 £120.00   £16.99 £47.50 £180.00  
    Bronze - - 1   n/a n/a n/a   £10.99 £29.99 £99.00  

    In addition to your above information costs there is an annual subscription of £35.25