David and Gus,  you are great!  

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 31, 2018, at 4:24 PM, brian.whip...@gmail.com wrote:
> 
> tl;dr
> 
>> On Sat, Mar 31, 2018 at 12:29 PM Gus Keri <gusk...@zoho.com> 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 
>> <trachtenb...@amsllp.com> 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 <s...@seansime.com> 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 <mil...@gmail.com> 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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>> 
>> --
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