Date: 3/31/18 1:49 pm
From: Nancy Shamban <nancyshamban...>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Real-time bird alerts for Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens
David and Gus, you are great!

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 31, 2018, at 4:24 PM, <brian.whipple...> wrote:
>
> 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
>>
>>
>>
>> ---- On Sat, 31 Mar 2018 05:23:38 -0700 Larry 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
>>
>>
>> --
>> NYSbirds-L List Info:
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>> The Mail Archive
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>> Please submit your observations to eBird!
>> --
>> --
>> NYSbirds-L List Info:
>> Welcome and Basics
>> Rules and Information
>> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave
>> Archives:
>> The Mail Archive
>> Surfbirds
>> ABA
>> Please submit your observations to eBird!
>> --
>>
>> --
>> NYSbirds-L List Info:
>> Welcome and Basics
>> Rules and Information
>> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave
>> Archives:
>> The Mail Archive
>> Surfbirds
>> ABA
>> Please submit your observations to eBird!
>> --
> --
> BTW
> --
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> Please submit your observations to eBird!
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