Date: 3/30/18 5:36 pm
From: Sean Sime <sean...>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Real-time bird alerts for Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens
There has been much discussion off-list regarding the Twitter alert systems
you have set up and the many unknowns I'm hoping you may be able to shed
some light on to the list and therefore I'm replying here.
We all agree there can be great benefit to information sharing via social
media. Yet there are many who are concerned regarding your practice of
posting sensitive species locations, currently daytime roosting owls, but
given line #4 in your post, "There are no restricted species" it would
imply nesting species as we move into season as well.

While many people in Kings County were eager to give the birdbk hashtag a
try it quickly seemed to push the limits of our local birding community's
ethics in this regard. This post is in no way an attempt to have a
discussion regarding what level of intrusion on bird life is appropriate.
While most of us follow the ABA Code of Ethics or follow similar guidelines
via local organizations or eBird it is easy to understand different people
have different opinions on the matter.

What I am wondering and I'm hoping you will shed some light on is the
apparent harvesting of data outside of the purview of people who are using
the hashtag, whether from eBird, local text alerts or what have you. What
seems particularly troubling is that multiple people have specifically DM'd
you and asked that you do not use their tweets and you continue to retweet
them anyway, although apparently stripping their names from your posting.

Given the current events, it seems appropriate people should have a full
understanding of how their data is being gathered, stored and used.

While reasonable people may disagree on what is ethical birding or not I
see less room for different interpretations when it comes to ignoring a
member of the birding community's direct request to have you not use their
data. As one human being to another this seems to be completely lacking in
civility. I hope you will take the time to respond to these concerns to the
list as they are shared by many people in the NYC birding community.

Kind regards,

Sean Sime
Brooklyn, NY

On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 7:52 PM, David Barrett <miler6...> wrote:

> Birds are back! There have been 38 Manhattan alerts already today,
> including American Bittern. It's been a big day in the other boroughs, too.
> And the season is just getting started.
> These alerts cover both rarities AND non-rarities of interest, such as the
> first few arrivals of expected migrants, like the Palm and Louisiana
> Warblers we had today. Posts of birding news or general birding conditions
> are fine, too.
> To receive these alerts, follow the accounts on Twitter that are of
> interest to you. The alerts are always publicly-viewable and searchable,
> both on Twitter and on the web. Click on the links to see the stream of
> recent alerts:
> Manhattan: @BirdCentralPark,, #birdcp
> Bronx: @BirdBronx,, #birdbx
> Brooklyn: @BirdBrklyn,, #birdbk
> Queens: @BirdQueens,, #birdqu
> You can set your phone to notify you with sound or vibration as alerts
> arrive.
> To issue alerts yourself, first become a followed user by sending a direct
> message on Twitter to one of the above accounts. Or email me and I will get
> you set up.
> Then to send an alert you just "tweet" using the appropriate hashtag as
> above. For example, to send an alert for Queens:
> Piping Plover at Rockaway Beach Edgemere #birdqu
> I have written software that will see your tweet and immediately and
> automatically relay it from the main account to all followers.
> If you have never used Twitter before, it's easy. You can make a free
> account for yourself in a few minutes on the web or by downloading the
> Twitter app on your device. See my site for complete directions on getting
> started with Twitter and on using these alerts:
> I hope these alerts will make your birding more productive and enjoyable.
> Email me with any questions.
> These alerts are a great adjunct to eBird -- you can post quickly to them
> without having to halt your eBird list and go through all the steps of
> finalizing and sending your list.
> Twitter also has some advantages over listservs:
> 1) It allows you to attach map screenshots, photos, and videos *directly*
> – no photo site needed.
> 2) It allows followers to immediately view these multimedia files without
> opening a browser.
> 3) It's faster to use in the field -- no need to write a topic heading or
> provide name/city signature.
> 4) There are no restricted species.
> 5) You'll get "likes!" And you can carry on discussions publicly or
> privately with other birders.
> 6) You do not need a smartphone -- just a regular phone that can send text
> messages.
> 7) Twitter has millions of users, offering the potential for wider
> exposure and more participation.
> Good birding,
> David Barrett
> Manhattan
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