If you’re going to be birding in Delaware or are wanting to chase rare birds in the state, then you should sign up for DE RBA for real-time updates as rare birds are found. I wanted to establish a DE RBA text alert system and encourage everyone to subscribe now so you don’t miss out on any reports of interesting birds. I also want to encourage prompt reporting of any rare birds you find, so others can hopefully see it as well. Here are steps you should take to sign up:
To join the group, please create a GroupMe account and then email Tim Schreckengost (timschreckengost AT gmail DOT com) or Alan Kneidel (akneidel AT gmail DOT com) to be added.
Once you have signed up, you should receive a confirmation text. Respond to that text with a simple ‘Hi’ to confirm your membership in the group and then save that number for future use. If you need to look up the number to text DE RBA in the future, you can just log back in to GroupMe.com and it will be under the group name.
Make sure that this group is only being used for rare birds. The review list maintained by the Delaware Bird Records Committee is a good guide on birds that merit reporting on DE RBA. http://www.dosbirds.org/statelist?opt=Documentation+Required. Winter finches such as crossbills and grosbeaks can also be reported on this group as well as big warbler and waterfowl fallouts during migration.
Photos can be shared as well but you should be aware that folks without the GroupMe app (on both iPhone and Android) on their smartphone will just receive a text message with a link to the photo. I would recommend using this sparingly but it is a nice feature for quickly confirming the identification of a rare bird.
Alerts can be turned off by sending a text message with #mute and can be turned back on by sending #unmute. You can check the webpage listed above to make sure your message went through. Feel free to email me at timschreckengost AT gmail DOT com if you have any questions.