Announcing the (JANUARY) 2021 ID-a-thon (all welcome)

I want to sing up for South Asian Birds and Butterflies.


Hi, welcome to the Forum!
I’m glad to have you :)
You can ID anything you want, and will make progress in at least the improve% and total% categories ;)

If you mean for workshops, unfortunately I know nothing about either of those topics so I can’t really help you there ):

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I was talking about both, and it’s okay if you’re unable to help…:blush:

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What a great idea! I am absolutely in on this. My personal goal is to get the number of my IDs up to match the number of my observations - that means I need 2,210 more IDs. (Eek!) Even better, I’d like to have more IDs than observations by the end of this ID-a-thon, since this will be the slow time of year for making observations in my part of the world (northeastern US). Then I can go wild in spring making tons of observations without feeling as though I should be making IDs concurrently.

I better get started on this right now…


I want the bonus category to be “captive organisms” at least one time :)


I’ll make sure they’re not completely ignored. Either by including verifiable=any in one of the main categories, or making it a category of its own, or at least including casual obs in a mystery% or two.
In general I wish there were an easy way to not count the fourth+ identical ID on something which had already had community consensus, but that would be a lot more work for me right now.


How about adding these categories to the poll?:

  • Lepidoptera for Beginners

  • Somewhat More Advanced Lepidoptera

  • Fungi for Beginners

  • Somewhat More Advanced Fungi

  • Narrowing Down Identifications

I would definitely would like to be included in Lepidoptera for Beginners, Fungi for Beginners, and Narrowing Down Identifications! Thanks in advance.


I don’t even know how to distinguish a butterfly most of the time… forget moths… but if someone else is willing to provide the knowledge, I can provide structure and guidance. Likewise for the birds request.
Fungi I only know how to put in VERY broad categories. If I’m the one teaching, it would be a ten minute lesson.
Narrowing Down IDs would be a good general one. I can’t add more options to an existing poll, but I may make a new one with additional suggestions once I can make more concrete plans and start proper workshop sign-up.

Anyone who wants to try their hand at co-leading or leading a workshop, or who is able to help me in other ways (e.g. helping coordination or data collection), please send me a message. Right now this is a manageable amount for me, but it is still a lot of work. A reminder I’m doing this in my spare time for free just because I enjoy it, yall please be nice to me :sweat_smile:


It could be good to channel some of this energy specifically to some of the taxa in the computer vision clean-up post ( if thats not already being considered )


I definitely have that as a long-term goal, but for now I want to start by getting newbie identifiers excited and comfortable with adding IDs. That’s why I’m starting with coarse taxa.
Also, every workshop needs a leader or two – if you have the knowledge, interest, and time to lead one, please message me and we’ll talk details.


As an educator, I find the prohibition on wagering problematic. ;-)

My retirement account pretty much consists of a couple thousand Student Information Forms filled out on paper on Day one of the semester going back to the year two thousand. I figure that one or two of them, brimming with potential as they always are, will become famous enough that I can sell their forms on eBay for like $10K each.

Since that is my plan, you can imagine the prospect of being able to place side bets on my young charges, is kind of irresistible, but being the new guy, I will play along.

For anybody that didn’t get it, I am jk. Can’t wait to see the competition!
My students and I have been bio-blitzing all semester and we have a lot of pics for the site. We are sorting through them to upload the best of them this coming week. Thanks for everything you are doing!


Welcome to the Forum, @mr_A :)

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When and how are you thinking of running the workshops?

I think more structured skillsharing would be a great thing to see in the community - so happy to take part in this aspect if I have time. There are a bunch of topics I´d be interested in attending workshops in, in theory - and yes, happy to share my (limited) knowledge at some point in return.

It would be lovely to see workshops by some of the more niche taxa experts to learn how the community can be more supportive in their areas.

Workshops will probably be on Zoom or Discord. If someone can put forward an idea for another platform, please do.

Basic and Somewhat More Advanced workshops will take place in January and February in tandem with the ID-a-thon. Others will be… later. March?

Each workshop should be between 30 and 60 minutes, and will include a lesson, a few examples, and an opportunity for learners to practice a little under supervision.
And please, please prepare your lesson well in advance and do at least one practice run ahead of time – I would be more than happy to help with those aspects and give feedback. It will make the experience more enjoyable, educational, and smooth for all involved.

I’ll schedule my workshops so that as many people as possible can attend them, even if that means adding an extra workshop e.g. for people in Australia. Once I’ve confirmed who is interested in each workshop, I’ll then have people choose from a selection of time slots. I’m currently on a sabbatical year so I’m pretty flexible.
Others who want to run workshops, or workshops that will be run by multiple people, can choose their own scheduling method, and I will coordinate.
I imagine most will be on weekends, but that’s up to the leader and participants.

I can definitely set up a few niche or “cleanup”-style workshops but these will be later, after the conclusion of the main ID-a-thon, since they require more advanced prior knowledge, take more time to prepare and to give, and because there are fewer (but surprisingly a decent number of) people who are interested in them.
(I put in Moderately Advanced Euphorbia ID expecting maybe two people to sign up. smh. you guys are great but now I have to go back and practice my kinda-rusty skills)


I’m interested. What do you recommend for preparation ? Reading guides or practicing with the interfaces?

Interested in participating or in leading?
Participants in e.g. Unknowns for Beginners don’t have to know anything at all, but participants in e.g. Moderately Advanced Euphorbia ID should come in already knowing some botantical terms and with a little experience using keys and guides for plants.
If you’re talking about helping run a session, depends on what subject and whether you’re doing it alone or with a buddy.

:) Unknowns for Bigginers, LOL!

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That was the only one I was interested in, since I’m not a beginner, but I don’t know much about that diverse genus.

It does have 2000 species. I can only teach what I know, which is a small portion of them to species and many of them to subgenus or section. If there’s sustained interest I may reach out to collaborators, but I do know enough on the topic to fill a 30-60 minute session easily.

If there’s another “Moderately Advanced” topic you’re interested in, you’ll have to find a teacher willing to teach it, but I can do coordination.

Suggestion for a category: threatened and endangered species.