Archivos de diario de enero 2022

10 de enero de 2022

Mission Identify

Do you enjoy identifying organisms in various taxonomic groups and want to keep your ID eyes sharp? From January through February 2022, the VAL team at VCE is running Mission Identify—challenging each of you to identify as many organisms as you can on iNaturalist and eButterfly.

The Vermont Atlas of Life depends on iNaturalist and eButterfly as ever-growing sources of biodiversity data. Once observations have been uploaded to iNaturalist or eButterfly, they need to be independently identified and verified by other users. This is called crowd-sourced identification, and the more people that are able to add an identification to an observation, the more likely it is correct. Only verified (or Research Grade) data can be used for research and conservation.

There are currently over 200,000 observations that need verification on iNaturalist, and many that need verification on eButterfly as well. We need your help!

Learn more about Mission Identify here.

Stay tuned for events pertaining to this challenge on the Mission Identify Events page!

Ingresado el 10 de enero de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de enero de 2022

Winter Bee Watching? Join Mission Identify!

Just because it's cold outside, that doesn't mean you can't be learning about and contributing to our knowledge of Vermont wild bees. Winter is a great time to revisit observations on iNaturalist to refine identifications and add annotations that increase the value of the data.

To learn more about the identifying process, check out VCE's latest "mission":
https://val.vtecostudies.org/missions/mission-identify/

Did you know from the identify window you can also add annotations?

In the "Annotation" tab, look for the "Observation Fields". There are thousands of fields to choose from, but for consistency, we recommend using those that begin with "interaction ->". In particular, "interaction -> visited flower of:" is helpful to document the flower that a bee was visiting. Your own observations are a good place to start, since identifying the plant is often easier with some memory of the observation/location. Not only is this useful information for bee biologists, it also allows anyone to explore the visitors of various plants. For example, here are 63 insects that have been marked as visiting goldenrod in VT: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=47&taxon_id=47158&verifiable=any&view=species&field:Interaction-%3EVisited%20flower%20of=48678

Helpful hint: You can change the flower of interested by replacing the last number in the URL with the number from the iNaturalist taxa page (example: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/48678-Solidago)

Finally, if you find yourself overwhelmed with bee identifications, here are eight common species that are relatively distinctive, without look-a-likes: https://val.vtecostudies.org/projects/vtbees/easy8/

Ingresado el 13 de enero de 2022 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de enero de 2022

Mission Identify Webinar

Have you ever wondered how to identify amphibian egg masses, bumblebees, or other frequently spotted species? Are you eager to hone your ID skills and contribute to research using community science platforms like iNaturalist and eButterfly?

We want to invite you to our first identification workshop of the year! This crash course will teach you everything you need to know about using the Identify feature on iNaturalist and eButterfly, as well as some useful tips for identifying commonly observed species. Our goal is for everyone who attends to walk away feeling more confident in their ability to contribute to crowd-sourced community science projects through identifying species.

This event will take place on January 25 at 7 PM on Zoom. Please register here


Blue-spotted Salamander © K.P. McFarland

Ingresado el 14 de enero de 2022 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de enero de 2022

December 2021 Photo-observation of the Month: Great Blue Heron


A Great Blue Heron shows off its dagger-like bill and impressive balance on the icy banks of the Missisquoi River. © Charlotte Bill

Congratulations to @cgbb2004 for winning the December 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Charlotte’s photo of a Great Blue Heron braving the cold of a northern Vermont winter received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

A familiar visitor of ponds, lakes, and other wetlands in the summer, Great Blue Herons are less common throughout winter in Vermont, when they can occasionally be found along streams, rivers, and other patches of open water where they might have a chance at spearing a fish for a meal. Charlotte encountered this bird a few days before the East Franklin Christmas Bird Count, but the heron was nowhere to be found on count day. The Christmas Bird Count is a century-old birding tradition of counting all the birds in a 15-mile-radius circle, with count circles spread throughout the globe. This invaluable dataset of winter bird populations is fueled by intrepid birders scouring their local habitats as well as homeowners filling their bird feeders and counting their visitors throughout the day. To learn more about the Christmas Bird Count circles in Vermont, click here.

A heartfelt thank you is in order for Charlotte, not only for providing this wonderful photo of her Great Blue Heron encounter, but for contributing (as of this writing) a whopping 44,036 iNaturalist identifications in Vermont alone! Charlotte’s expertise and dedication to helping others on this community science platform is what makes it so fun and scientifically valuable to post sightings to iNaturalist.


With 2,092 observations submitted by 299 observers in December, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Ingresado el 17 de enero de 2022 por nsharp nsharp | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de enero de 2022

January 2022 Photo-observation of the Month


A Sharp-shinned Hawk stalks thickets in search of small birds, which can make up to 90% of this species’ diet. © Craig Hunt

Congratulations to @ckhunt for winning the January 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Craig’s photo of a sharp-eyed Sharp-shinned Hawk received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

Not only is this an exceptional photo-series of a handsome bird, but it also happens to be Craig’s 4,100th iNaturalist observation! The Sharp-shinned Hawk, a bird-seeking missile often known simply as “Sharpie,” is a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, which of course can double as hawk-feeders in true circle-of-life fashion. While its larger counterpart, the Cooper’s Hawk, is generally more common in urban and suburban habitats in the winter, Sharp-shinned Hawks regularly overwinter in Vermont and can make for some tricky identification challenges. Craig’s photos show off some of the features to look for when trying to differentiate these very similar species: the skinny legs, slim body shape, large eye with yellow orbital ring, and rounded head with a dark, hooded appearance all point towards an ID of Sharp-shinned Hawk. To see some great side-by-side photos and videos of these similar species and to learn more about how to tell them apart, click here.


With 1,509 observations submitted by 224 observers in January, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Ingresado el 31 de enero de 2022 por nsharp nsharp | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

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