Filter Observation photos by Time of Year, i.e; Season, Month

Web, Mobile

Example URL:

Description of need: This feature would address the community who is interested in learning about how plants, animals, and other organisms change at different times of the year.

Feature request details:
I think a new tab when filtering observation photos, next to Life Stage, Sex, Alive or Dead, etc: pertaining to the Date or Time of Year the photo/observation was taken would be very helpful to study how creatures change throughout the year. It could drop down and let the user select a month out of the year, if photos are available from that specified month. If that would be too cluttered, allowing the user to select the particular season the photograph was taken in would be helpful, obviously adaptive depending on which hemisphere the photo was taken in. A very good example of this is the Rock Ptarmigan, a bird whose plumage completely transforms at different times of year, becoming white to camouflage in the winter. I believe this feature would be not only a huge quality of life tool for learning about different organisms but also be very beneficial for tracking changes and sightings at different times of year.

I want to point out that this functionality does exist already in iNat’s filter system through search URLs. On the Explore page (and also the Identify page), the filter menu lets you select between 1 and 12 months narrow down your observations:

This option is then reflected in the search URL with the “months=” parameter.

Certain explore/identify search URL parameters can be used on other parts of the site, but unfortunately the photo viewer is quite limited in what search parameters it accepts. If you add “months=5” to your photo viewer URL, nothing happens.

I point this out for two reasons:

  1. Because you can already do this on some parts of the website (and also because you can sort the photo viewer by date), I suspect it wouldn’t be too hard for iNat staff to add this function, if they agree it’s a good idea.

  2. While you can’t filter the photo viewer by months, using the month filters on the Explore page is probably your best workaround.


I appreciate it, thank you! It definitely would be a nice convenience factor to have that ability easily accessible in the photo viewer when looking at a specific entry, and hopefully would not be too hard to add since the functionality is already there! Was just something I thought about when identifying and studying various photographs of species as many change often throughout the year (particularly plants). It’s nice this feature is available in the Explore tab already though!

Or a new annotation for
Plumage - summer / winter


If you go to the taxon page and click “view more” photos you have many choices for sorting photos.