Instructions for the Rare Bird Alert

The Rare Bird Alert is run through the Group Me app, and is administered by Alec Humann from the Buffalo Ornithological Society.

Who Can Use the System

This service is to include not only BOS members but also Rochester Birding Association, Cornell area birders and any lone wolves.  All non-members of birding groups need a referral by a member of a birding organization. This will help to keep this group’s birding ethics at the high standards we strive for.

Use of the System

Texts are limited to sightings of rare birds! We need this system to be reserved for its intended purpose,  that is to alert users ASAP of a rare bird.

This system can and should be used to report extraordinary events such as:

  • a rare bird in WNY
  • a fallout of migrants
  • an incredible hawk flight in progress
  • an autumn wind event producing multiple rare gulls/jaegers on the Niagara River

This system is not intended for:

  • use in reporting first of year birds and species that are to be expected within WNY
  • conversations, comments, or jokes. There is a private messaging function within the GroupMe app that can be used for that purpose. Click on a person’s name to contact them directly.

Keep in mind: people may be at work, in a meeting, or carrying equipment in the field. Texts to the system for non-rarities are unwelcome. Repeated abuse will result in the removal of your account from the system.

If you own a smartphone, please download the free app, GroupMe. The title of our group service is called ‘WNY Bird Alert’ in the GroupMe app. If you have a non-smartphone, you can still subscribe but you won’t be able to see posted photos or other group members but you WILL receive text alerts!

If you would like to be included in this GroupMe system, please send Alec Humann your name, email and phone number and he will add you.

If anyone has any questions about use of the text alert, please email Alec privately. Thank you so much!