[Tweeters] Tweeters versus eBird

Garrett Haynes garrettwhaynes at me.com
Thu May 27 14:16:20 PDT 2021

Hello Tweets,

There are always a lot of comments about the use of tweeters versus eBird and asking people to post on both for those who don't use eBird and I would like to throw my own two cents into the ring.

First off, full disclosure that I am 35 and have grown up fully in the digital age and used computers since I was a little kid. I use Tweeters, eBird, Facebook, and texts/calls from other birders to find out about rare bird alerts. If there was another good option for finding out about rare birds I would use that too. As a typical modern person I have multiple email accounts, social media, messaging apps, and get more emails, calls, texts, DM's, etc. a day than I would like, as it seems like most people do. I admit it may be a little harder for me to sympathize/empathize with those who are not as comfortable with technology and digital overload as I am, since I have been immersed in it from a younger age than some, but I am trying. Now, on to my thoughts on Tweeters and eBird

Let's start with Tweeters. From my understanding people can sign up for a daily digest or they can get each post sent to them individually (I only get the daily digest, so correct me if I'm wrong). This means that a Tweeters subscriber is either getting 1 email a day or 5-20 emails a day from Tweeters depending on the day. There is a trade off. If you don't like a lot of emails and sign up for the daily digest your inbox is much smaller but you may not find out about a rare sighting until the end of the day. If you sign up to get every post separately, you will have a lot more emails but can see a post much sooner and possibly get to a bird that same day before it's gone. This is up to personal preference and choice and weighing the trade off for yourself.

Now about eBird. People seem to post about eBird alerts like they are somehow different than Tweeters and that by getting an eBird account you will suddenly be bombarded with a million more emails or by signing up you will be forced to become one of those dreaded county listers, haha. However, signing up for eBird alerts is no different than signing up for Tweeters. If with your digital skill level you were capable of signing up for Tweeters you are capable of signing up for eBird. Once signed up there is no obligation to maintain your lists on eBird, become a county lister, or any other such thing. You can choose what alerts you want to receive, either statewide or by county. You can choose to receive a single daily digest or get an hourly email alert, just like Tweeters. If you want fewer emails then sign up for the single daily alert. If you want to be notified about everything as soon as possible, then get the hourly, whatever floats your boat. I actually think getting an eBird alert is better because it automatically includes a link in the email alert to a Map location of where they saw the bird (at least the general location if not exactly) and you can see the posters entire checklist of other birds they saw as well, where this isn't the case with a Tweeters post.

IMHO there shouldn't be any need for disparaging about bird sightings that were or were not posted to Tweeters as well as eBird as I believe all of us on here are capable of signing up for both, as I have explained above. I do agree that it certainly doesn't hurt anything to post to both as there will still always be people who will never sign up for eBird, or maybe a subscriber is signed up for eBird but not subscribed to alerts for the location where the bird was at, or the person who saw the bird is signed up for eBird but doesn't input lists and only posts their sighting to Tweeters, so there is some variation in personal account usage, and so there are some advantages to posting to both. I admit I am much more likely to post on eBird only, although I don't fault people who only post to Tweeters only and not eBird. That's why I utilize alerts from both.

If you are unsure of how to start an eBird account I am happy to walk you through it. You can set it up and then you don't even ever have to login to it again if you don't want, the alerts will just show up in your email like Tweeters on their own without any further obligation.

Email me if you want help with this or have any other questions. Thanks for reading my long winded addition to this discussion!

Garrett Haynes
Auburn, WA

Sent from my iPhone

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