Date: 3/31/18 1:24 pm
From: <brian.whipple...>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Real-time bird alerts for Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens
tl;dr

On Sat, Mar 31, 2018 at 12:29 PM Gus Keri <guskeri...> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
>
>
> [Note: this email is not personal against Sean or Joshua who are some of
> the nicest people I have met along my birding adventure]
>
>
>
> Three weeks ago, I deleted all my social media birding-related accounts
> (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker) and sworn not to go
> back again. I kept this emailing list subscription for rare birds alert
> because I still love birding. But I will make an exception today and write
> this email in support of David. Somehow, I feel responsible for what is
> going on between him and what I call the Secret Society of Brooklyn Elite
> Birders (SSBEB). [More on this society below.]
>
>
>
> Let me first start by saying that David’s Twitter account, Brooklyn bird
> Alert, is the best thing happened for Brooklyn birders in a long time. I am
> saying this as a Brooklyn birder and speaking on behave of many Brooklyn
> birders who are in support of David’s work but too afraid to speak out.
>
>
>
> David is doing a great job in surfing the net (eBird, Twitter accounts,
> email Lists, etc.) in search of the best information to provide to birders
> all over the city. He is working hard and his effort is well appreciated by
> the majority of birders. I applaud him and I Hope he will continue his work
> undeterred by few criticisms.
>
>
>
> I feel responsible for all this because I am the one who asked David to
> start this account. I had been following Manhattan Bird Alert for years and
> I liked it very much. When David created Bronx Bird Alert, I begged him to
> start one for Brooklyn. Initially, he hesitated because he doesn’t want to
> upset Brooklyn birders.
>
>
>
> I conducted few discussions with Brooklyn birders and found that the
> opinion is split among the elite birders but the majority of the regular
> (non-elite) birders were in support of it. After further discussion, David
> agreed to start the account.
>
>
>
> It wasn’t long before the account became very popular. Almost more than
> 90% of the Brooklyn birders I know followed it and some of them started
> using the hashtag #birdbk. I was happy. And many birders benefited from
> this account. They saw birds that they wouldn’t have heard about if it
> wasn’t for David.
>
>
>
> At the same time, I noticed that few birders didn’t follow this account. I
> had some bad experience with some of them. (Some of them might have hatred
> against me since the infamous injured Snowy Owl I tweeted about last
> November) But I thought, they will eventually come to their senses and
> recognize that this account is good for all Brooklyn birder.
>
>
>
> I was wrong.
>
>
>
> One month ago, A friend birder (I am not going to mention his name) told
> me that there had been a discussion taking place about my involvement with
> this account and some believe that I am the one who is doing all the work.
> And some birders don’t want to help this account because of me. I told him
> the account is owned and managed completely by David and he does all the
> work. I have nothing to do with it except that it was my idea.
>
>
>
> I was shocked to hear that. I couldn’t believe such level of personal
> hatred even existed. I knew about this SSBEB for a long time but I never
> though they will descend to this level. I knew they have monopoly over
> every thing birding in Brooklyn and they don’t like any dissent. They bully
> the rest of Brooklyn birders into silence.
>
>
>
> Those who know me well also know that I don’t keep quite when I see
> something wrong. I express my opinion freely. Some of you might remember
> the Facebook posts about birding ethics I posted a couple of months ago.
> Apparently, these posts didn’t go well with the Junta, which is the SSBEB,
> in the banana republic, that is Brooklyn, and I have always thought I was
> in America, the land of the free.
>
>
>
> One week after that encounter with the friend birder, I knew something is
> brewing. I received an email from another friend birder; also he will
> remain unnamed, addressing me in a very formal way. We had exchanged many
> friendly emails in the past year. He is one of the nicest people you will
> ever meet. I knew then that whatever discussion taking place behind a
> closed door had gotten to him also. Apparently, the SSBEB is exerting
> pressure on the whole birding community.
>
>
>
> What happened two days later was the straw that broke the camel’s back and
> I decided to exit Brooklyn birding community altogether.
>
>
>
> David tweeted about a Snowy Owl in Floyd Bennett Field which is 10 minutes
> away from where I live. I immediately got in my car and drove there. The
> owl was still there. I love Snowy Owl. I know many birders also love them
> and they enjoy looking at them.
>
>
>
> I believe God send Snowy Owls to NYC every winter, especially the coldest
> ones, so people can take a break from their miserable busy lives and enjoy
> the beauty of this majestic bird, even if it is only for minutes. I believe
> every New Yorker has the right to look at one of them every winter.
>
>
>
> I immediately took photos and videos and posted them on social media
> (especially Brooklyn Bird Alert) thanking David for his tweet. I was happy
> to know that few other birders also took advantage of this tweet and saw
> the bird. This is what social media all about; spreading happiness.
>
>
>
> The following day, a group of misbehaving birders/photographers went to
> see the bird. They broke the law by trespassing onto the field to get
> closer to the bird. The bird flew away to one of the nearby island. The
> event was documented and photos were posted on Twitter.
>
>
>
> I was very angry at those birders who broke the law and wished if the
> person who saw them would have called the police to get them. The police
> are few minutes away in that field. I was very sad all day long. I had a
> sinking feeling. Something inside me told me a storm is brewing.
>
>
>
> In the evening, the injured Snowy Owl who saved me last November came
> through my window and whispered in my ear to check my twitter account. I
> was shocked to see that few birders had blocked my twitter account denying
> me the access to their tweets. They all did it at the same time. They must
> have been in an emergency meeting somewhere in a dark cave under the candle
> lights right now to decide the fate of the evil-doer Gus Keri.
>
>
>
> The SSBEB forgot all what ailing the world of birds. They forgot global
> warming, thinning of the ice cap, deforestation, destruction of habitat,
> acidification of oceans, plastic-ification of oceans and Trump
> administration’s attempt at reversing all the environmentally protecting
> laws for migratory birds. They decided that my twitter account is dangerous
> to Snowy Owls and leading this species to extinction.
>
>
>
> What shocked me the most that one of them was one of the nicest people I
> have ever known and the last person I expected to be blocked by. An
> overwhelming feeling of sadness descended on me. I didn’t know what to do.
> The SSBEB have influenced the best of them all into taking action against
> me.
>
>
>
> At that moment, I reached a decision that I had been thinking about for
> few months. I am done with birding altogether. I deleted all my
> birding-related social media accounts and went into the night quietly.
> Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep that night until the early morning hours.
>
>
>
> Over the last few years of birding, I got to know many birders in
> Brooklyn. The majority if them are very good people who don’t want to make
> any trouble. They kept saying to me, “he is a nasty man but a very
> knowledgeable birder and I don’t want to get on his bad side.” The culture
> of “fear and intimidation” is alive and well in the Brooklyn birding
> community.
>
>
>
> Many of them asked me to keep the fight against the Junta SSBEB. But what
> they don’t know that I am not young, and above all, I am not healthy enough
> for this fight. I wish I was thirty years younger with my full health. I
> would have kept my promise to the many good people who just need their
> voices heard without fear of bad repercussions.
>
>
>
> Dear David, I have not met you yet. I am hoping to do so at one of my
> trips to Central park. I don’t know how old or healthy you are. But I hope
> you will keep this account running, at least because “this town needs
> this measly one-horse institution if only to have some place where people
> can come without crawling to Potter.”
>
>
>
> Thank you every one for reading on.
>
> I have a feeling this might be my last communication on this list.
>
> So long every one.
>
> Gus Keri
>
>
>
> Sent using Zoho Mail <https://www.zoho.com/mail/>
>
>
> ---- On Sat, 31 Mar 2018 05:23:38 -0700 *Larry Trachtenberg
> <Trachtenberg...> <Trachtenberg...>>* wrote ----
>
>
> 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.
>
> L. Trachtenberg
> Ossining, NY.
>
> P.s. “Can’t we all just get along” — kidding 🙃
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Mar 30, 2018, at 8:37 PM, Sean Sime <sean...> wrote:
>
>
> --
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>
> 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, https://twitter.com/BirdCentralPark, #birdcp
>
> Bronx: @BirdBronx, https://twitter.com/BirdBronx, #birdbx
>
> Brooklyn: @BirdBrklyn, https://twitter.com/BirdBrklyn, #birdbk
>
> Queens: @BirdQueens, https://twitter.com/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:
>
> https://bigmanhattanyear.com/
>
> 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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