News 12 Bronx recently did a featured story on these alerts.
I created Bronx Bird Alert in November 2017 and continue to manage it to provide Bronx birders with a convenient way to share real-time birding information.
All posts are publicly-viewable and searchable: twitter.com/BirdBronx.
The system works with ANY mobile phone (that handles text messages), not just smartphones. You don’t need to be a Twitter user, but you will need to create a Twitter account. Once you do, you can opt to send and receive alerts through simple (SMS) text messages. That said, I strongly encourage smartphone owners to use the Twitter app (Android or iOS) and app notifications.
How it works
Users follow a single master Twitter account @BirdBronx, which automatically and instantly retweets any followed user who includes the hashtag #birdbx in a tweet. The master account is powered by my own software, written and hosted on Google Cloud Platform, which carries out the retweeting and eliminates the need for every user to follow every other user.
Directions for Experienced Twitter Users
To receive the alerts, follow @BirdBronx and turn on mobile notifications for this account on the Twitter app. If this is all you want, you’re done.
To send alerts, you first need the @BirdBronx account to follow you. I will follow users I recognize as Bronx birders as I see them follow this account. Otherwise, or to expedite the process, just send a direct message to or tweet @BirdBronx and request to be followed.
Once you are followed by this account, you send an alert by tweeting with the hashtag #birdbx.
Directions for Users New to Twitter
Please refer to the directions for Manhattan Bird Alert on a separate tab on this website, where I take you step-by-step through setup. Instead of @BirdCentralPark, you will follow @BirdBronx; instead of the hashtag #birdcp you will use #birdbx. Otherwise, setup is exactly the same.
Guidelines for Alert Content
Bronx Bird Alerts can contain any information you believe to be of interest to Bronx birders, but largely they should be real-time reports of rare, uncommon, or otherwise notable wild birds in the Bronx. No species are off limits. In particular, the Bronx is known for having a variety of owls and you are welcome (and encouraged) to report on them as precisely as you want.
After sundown, feel free to share your excellent photos and videos using the #birdbx hashtag.
With all alerts remember to give as exact a location as needed (for someone else to find the bird), and feel free to attach a pinned Google Maps image if it helps. Often attaching a photo of the area, the tree, or the bird can be helpful, too.
Be sure to have alerts enabled for replies and direct messages, as the site moderator (that’s me) may ask you to clarify location or ID.
*** New rule: in light of Twitter’s harsher new restrictions, tweeting with multiple borough hashtags is prohibited. This means that if you use #birdbx in a tweet you cannot use any other of the other bird alert hashtags such as #birdcp. My software will reject such tweets. You may post a given tweet to ONLY one borough’s alerts, even if you do so after a time delay. ***
- Whimbrel at Orchard Beach parking lot puddle #birdbx
- Kentucky Warbler at Zoo north of Aquatic Bird House in NE sector of zoo #birdbx
- Pink-footed Goose on Parade Grounds field near Broadway at VCP #birdbx
By the way, I think we can agree on these abbreviations to save some typing time:
VCP: Van Cortlandt Park
NYBG: New York Botanical Garden
Zoo: Bronx Zoo — the only zoo I know of in the Bronx!