Bird Pellets and Eggshells

When I began posting to iNat regularly I was posting old images (spanning nearly a decade). I posted two bird pellets and IDed them Rodent…based on the skeletal remains present in the images:

Should I revise - or delete? As I did not dissect the pellets, I cannot confirm the prey identification. Is this observation evidence of the prey or, the bird? Are pellets permitted on iNat?

Also…I discovered half of an eggshell yesterday (songbird), while I photographed it for my own reference, I do not know if this counts as evidence of life on iNat? May I post eggs/eggshells for identification? If so, how shall I annotate the observation?


Any kind of evidence, eggs (complete or otherwise), tracks, nests, scat or whatever is valid as evidence. It’s just going to have a lower rate of being identified.

For the eggs, there is the lifespan annotation which includes egg, but I suppose you may argue do you know if it hatched or was predated.

Otherwise there are observation fields you can use. As always with these there are many duplicated ones. I think the most commonly used one is simply called ‘Sign’


I think it’s sort of up to you. What great timing for this topic though, I just uploaded one a half hour ago.
You could probably upload the pellet twice. Once as owl evidence, once as rodent evidence. Personally I uploaded mine as the owl order, but one could have made an observation for the rodent jaw I found in mine too. I just saw it as low chance of identification.


Even without dissection there’s enough evidence in the pictures to make reasonable IDs. The first one is a rabbit or hare though, not rodent, but second one is clearly a rodent. A lot can be told from just a little. You actually got a lot of good angles from the different placements of the cranium and jaws.
I personally observe both for the predator and prey.
There’s a lot of projects focused on tracking and more evidence based observations.
If you choose to duplicate these observations for evidence of the owl, you can add them to Bird Tracks and Signs, both the predator and prey can go in North American Animal Tracks Database, the bones can go into Skulls and Bones, and the eggshells can also go into the bird tracks project as well as the Eggs & Nests (N. America) project.


Wheteher hatched or not, wouldn’t they still be “Egg” for the Lifestage annotation, and then the Alive annotation would be “Cannot be determined” (which would cover hatched, killed, or even never viable/fertilized)?


When observing as Birds, how shall I annotate…adult or cannot be determined? alive (does this apply to…at time of regurgitation?!) Thoughts?

Personally, I’d mark these “cannot be determined,” though logically you could mark the pellet as “alive” for the owl, when it produced it.


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