Date: 3/31/18 5:23 am From: Larry Trachtenberg <Trachtenberg...> Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Real-time bird alerts for Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens
Even though “the world is turning and you can’t slow down,” I have chosen never to have tweeted, retweeted, used instagram, Ingraham, facebook, linked in or willingly participate in any form of social media. Getting old is not so bad considering where the world is going even if you miss a bird “here, there and everywhere”, as reportage of bird sightings migrates to sources one may choose not to use. It seems to me though not knowing any of the participants to this debate; isn’t the whole point of the social media thing once it’s out there it’s out there for better or perhaps more often for worse and if you choose to give the the new robber barons like Zuckerberg your personal info, well .... and if you choose to follow what Kim Kardashian eats, well; and if you tweet the identity and location of a bird, well ....
Seems this newest bird community feud is merely a redux of the photographer v. birder antagonisms not to mention the debate regarding the absurd -unethical many would say - use of incessant play back by some charging $ to lead bird walks so their customers can get better photographs — all issues that hopefully won’t Trump reports of actual bird sightings as migration gets in to full swing. Happy birding.
As for birds, I did see a meadowlark at Croton Point today.
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.
On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 7:52 PM, David Barrett <miler6...><mailto:<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:
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: