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RBA (Rare Bird Alert) by Twitter

The San Diego Field Ornithologists RBA (Rare Bird Alert) is a free information network service distributed via Twitter.

We welcome all interested birders to join the Twitter group using the instructions below.

Please note that we only accept reports for bird species seen in San Diego County and which are listed in Categories A+, A, B, or C. Click here to go to the San Diego County ABC List. We also encourage reports of bird species that are new to the county!

    Steps Taken to Join the RBA

1. Create a Twitter account or login to your existing one. This is most easily accomplished online at your personal computer.

2. Activate Twitter text messaging by entering your mobile phone number. You should receive a text message
confirmation afterwards.

3. Click on Follow @RareBirdAlertSD

4. Click on Subscribe to the RBA list

5. Install the Twitter app on your smartphone and login.

6. To send an alert with the Twitter app: Touch the small bird symbol at the
upper left, Touch “What’s happening?” at the bottom, enter the message
and put #sdforba anywhere in the message. Touch Tweet to send.

7. To send an alert via text message: Text 40404, enter the message and put
#sdforba anywhere in the message. Send.

8. Messages without the hashtag #sdforba will not be retweeted, so don’t
forget #sdforba.

Keep your tweets public (default), that way they can automatically be detected and retweeted by the robot.

If you start getting too many emails or messages from Twitter. Go to Twitter settings and look under Security and Privacy, Mobile, email notifications and web notifications and uncheck most of the items as necessary. Just don’t check “Protect my Tweets” so the RBA can continue to see and retweet your
messages. Don’t uncheck “Tweets from people you’ve enabled for mobile notifications” & “Direct messages”.

The categories in this list were determined using a hybrid approach, combining the overall number
of records for San Diego County with the species’ occurrence (and chase-ability!) in the county during the past 5+ years. If a species has not occurred for a good number of years, it may get bumped up to the next higher category; conversely, species for which there has been a relative, recent “glut” of reports may get demoted one category. Un-chaseable species—for example, those on private property or a seabird seen during a pelagic trip or only as a single-pass fly-by from La Jolla—do not need to be immediately tweeted.

Tweeting reports of birds in the A+, A, B, and C categories does NOT mean that the observer should fail to post news as soon as possible on the SanDiegoRegionBirding listserv as well. All species
of local interest should be posted on the listserv.