The IOU Membership Committee manages two Twitter accounts, one for the general public
and another to provide a distinct benefit to members.
This is our general Twitter handle where people can ask questions or provide short announcements. See the sidebar on the right for the most recent Tweets.
The @iowarba Twitter account is available as a service to IOU members. This is a tool to quickly communicate rare bird sightings and information from the field. Messages can be received on any mobile device that can receive SMS (text) messages, on smart phones, or on your home computer. (Standard text messaging and data fees apply.)
Picture this: You're pulling into your driveway and your phone vibrates. You have a text message that says, "@iowarba Roseate Spoonbill, Saylorville Lake, Aug 1, 17:30. Best views from Jester Park visitor center observation platform". You put your car in reverse and head on your way, knowing the bird was last seen less than ten minutes ago.
The tweet will be like a tap on the shoulder from a fellow birder telling you now is the time to check this bird out. The alert messages will be short, to the point and few in number. It's not a chat room, just a quick alert. It is also very easy to post to @iowarba with just a simple text message, even giving current location information as the chase is on. For all who remember looking for the Fork-tailed Flycatcher in Tama County in 2007, how helpful would this service had been?
The IOU has created a Twitter account, @iowarba, that will automatically pass messages to IOU members that wish to participate. All mobile devices will be able to use the service but it will be particularly advantageous to people in remote areas where smart devices may have trouble getting a strong data signal. A guide with an explanation of the purpose and instructions to enable your device is available. It is easy to turn the feed on and off and some people may only wish to use it when they are out birding.
Setting Up Your @iowarba Messaging