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

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

7) Twitter has millions of users, offering the potential for wider exposure
and more participation.

Good birding,

David Barrett


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