NYNYBIRD – What Is It?

NYNYBIRD is a text alert system for disseminating unusual bird sightings in New York County (Manhattan).

Which birds should be reported to NYNYBIRD?

Birds reportable to NYNYBIRD should simply include any wild bird species that are unusual in Manhattan. The purpose of NYNYBIRD is to alert birders so that anyone interested in seeing an unusual bird can get the information as soon as possible. As it is unlikely that most observers have a list of New York County bird records memorized, good judgment is requested.

Here is a list of the expected birds for Central Park each year for starters:

and here is the Bar Chart for New York County from ebird.org:

A text alert system is a very sharp tool! Your text to NYNYBIRD goes out to 60+ subscribers. DO NOT REPLY to any text message that you get from NYNYBIRD! If you do your reply goes out to ALL subscribers, not just the one who sent the original text message.

How to send an alert to NYNYBIRD?

All messages sent or received through NYNYBIRD go through the number 41411. Once you are subscribed to NYNYBIRD through TextMarks you can send a text to NYNYBIRD by sending a message to 41411. When you type in the message the first word must be NYNYBIRD (that will allow the TextMarks system to route the message to the subscribers of NYNYBIRD). So begin every message with NYNYBIRD and then type in your actual alert message. Please type in the full species name (no 4-letter abbreviations for the first posting of a rarity, please), and location. Please try to be as specific as you can with the location.

Does it cost anything?

No, NYNYBIRD does not cost anything, except for whatever you pay to your carrier for sending and receiving text messages. One unusual bird alert = one text message. However, to keep the messages ad free and allow for longer messages (which will allow for more specific location descriptions for instance) NYNYBIRD is on a paid plan with TextMarks and will be running on donations.

The plan with TextMark costs $19 per month during the slow months and $99 for the busy Spring migration month (mid April – mid May). So, if you are enjoying the benefits of a text alerts and would feel so inclined slip us your $10 donation the next time you see me out birding. Or donate via PayPal,

Suggested donation is $10.


Good and Bad Postings

Suppose you find a Kentucky Warbler in the Shakespeare Garden just below the stone balcony. Hmm, what to do? Don’t hesitate! A Kentucky Warbler is a really “good bird” for anywhere in Manhattan. Get your phone out and send a text to 41411 that goes something like “NYNYBIRD¬†Kentucky Warbler in Shakespeare Garden just below the stone balcony, east of lower paved path.”

Note: You must type NYNYBIRD as the first word in your text message.

Suppose you (as I did this year) find your first Ovenbird for the year on April 17 while you was in the North End to check out the American Bittern. Although you had not seen anyone reporting Ovenbirds for the year they are not unusual in the middle of April and in a week or so there will be several Ovenbirds in Manhattan. Just enjoy the sighting and add it to your list, but don’t send a text message to NYNYBIRD. If you do however stumble upon an Ovenbird in December it is textworthy.

How to Sign Up?

Send a text message to 41411 with only one word in the message, “NYNYBIRD”
You will soon after that receive as response from the system that you are subscribed to NYNYBIRD. Note, you will automatically have an anonymous account, i.e. your username will be something like UserFCC014 (or something like that). Therefore when you later send in text alerts sign off on your messages with your Full Name.

Once you have subscribed you should be all set. When someone finds an unusual bird and sends a text message you will automatically receive it within a few seconds.

Anonymous users

Several people are subscribed to NYNYBIRD to 41411 as anonymous subscribers. PLEASE REMEMBER TO SIGN YOUR MESSAGES WITH YOUR FULL NAME. We will all be grateful, because a real name gives credibility to the sighting.

enjoy every bird and share your unusual sightings,