THE MONTICELLO BIRD ALERT
Rapid Information Exchange about Rare Bird Sightings in Our Area !
The MonticelloBirdAlert was created by Robert Capon to provide birders in Central Virginia with an opportunity to post sitings of rare and interesting birds spotted in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, and surrounding counties. The MonticelloBirdAlert has over 100 active members! Members of the group should only post birds that are sighted on public property or viewed from public roadways. Members may also post a sighting of a bird on private property, if the landowner has granted express permission for you to make such a posting to this group.
Since its inception, birds reported on the MonticelloBirdAlert have included the Loggerhead Shrike, Fox Sparrow, Common Goldeneye, Horned Grebe, Horned Lark, Red Headed Woodpecker, American Woodcock, Surf Scoter, Glossy Ibis, Dunlin, American Bittern, and many others!
To join the group, please follow these steps:
1) Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/monticellobirdalert/
2) Click on the button: Join this Group
3) If you have a Yahoo ID, sign in and go to “Step 5”
4) If you don’t have a Yahoo ID, click on the link: Sign Up. (It’s free.)
5) Fill in the required information, read the terms of the agreement, and signify your agreement by clicking on “I Agree”.
6) Once you’re a member of the MonticelloBirdAlert, you can post messages by sending messages to [email protected]
7) Remember the cardinal rule (stated above) about respecting private property rights.
When you sign up, you’ll have the opportunity to see individual messages or receive a daily digest of messages. The individual messages will enable you to see photographs posted within email messages; however, the daily digest does not enable photographs to be seen. Since the Monticello Bird Alert only provides a trickle of a small handful of messages a day, we suggest that you set up your account to receive individual messages and enjoy the photographs that are often sent with postings of interesting birds!
“Real Time Twitter Bird Alerts”
There is a service where messages sent to the MonticelloBirdAlert are now forwarded to Twitter, and sent out as a Tweet and therefore available as a real-time text message. This enables you to see real-time birding information if you’re out and about, and an exciting bird blows through town for a few hours.
First, for all of you low tech, old-school birders DON’T WORRY! If you like things the way they have always been read no further. The YahooGroup bird alert will remain unchanged. You will continue to send messages to [email protected], and messages will be distributed via email as always.
But for those of you who want real-time text messages, here’s how the service works:
1) We’ve created an email account: [email protected].
2) We’ve created a Twitter account entitled “MonticelloBird”. Why not “MonticelloBirdAlert” you may ask? Well, Twitter has a 15 character limit, and MonticelloBird was a catchy name that fits the bill!.
3) We’ve subscribed to a service that monitors my [email protected] account and looks for incoming messages from the [email protected]ogroups.com sender, and whenever it sees such messages it forwards them to Twitter, and Twitter sends them out as Tweets!!!!!!
4) Here’s how you can get the feed. All you have to do is sign up for a Twitter account, and then sign up to “Follow” my Twitter account “MonticelloBird”. So if you already are a Twitter user, you’re 90% of the way there. Just start following “MonticelloBird”. If you’re not already a user, you’ll have to join Twitter to take advantage of the service. Just go to www.twitter.com and sign up. It takes about 2 minutes.
1) Twitter messages are short! Tweets are only 140 characters. The Twitter feed is set up to Tweet the subject line and the body of the message until you run out of characters. The rest of the message gets truncated. So if you see a subject line that says “Northern Bobwhite” and then a short message, you might have to check your email to get the rest of the details and directions.
2) It seems to take about 10 minutes for a new message to get Tweeted. There are a lot of servers interacting with each other and probably polling every few minutes, so it’s not instantaneous.
3) If you want to receive Tweets as an SMS text message, you have to turn on mobile notifications. Within twitter, click on the services that you are following. Next to the “MonticelloBird” Twitter feed you’ll see an icon that looks like a gear. That’s the settings for that Twitter feed. Click on that and click on “Turn on Mobile Notifications.”