Graph data for night, dawn, day, dusk broken out by month

I would love to be able to see graph data showing observation frequency for night, dawn, day, dusk type data. I realize this would be a bit complex, but I think there’s enough data already present to do this sufficiently well. I think this would add value particularly because I believe many animals and flowers are more or less likely to be observed by humans in specific times of day, and this this would vary by time of year.


I don’t think this really belongs in the forum feedback section (so maybe someone can move to general), but a few thoughts:

You can download data and do this yourself if you wish, but I think there are several important caveats:

  1. The data are almost certainly going to reflect observer effort (how many people are out observing) and human behavior/biology more than actual species’ activity or some aspect of the species’ biology. Most people are making observations during the day, so even nocturnal species may show more observations then just because there are more people observing.

  2. Making nighttime observations is more difficult. Cameras don’t work as well in low light, flash doesn’t go far, etc. There are just fewer nighttime observations of good quality for this reason.

  3. The time data on many observations are off. A lot of folks forget to set camera times accurately or there are time zone issues on upload. I see a lot of observations that have obviously erroneous times (likely when they were uploaded, not taken) as evidenced by times in the middle of the night but pics with bright sunshine, etc.

I’m sure that there are other reasons, but I’d be really wary of interpreting graphs of raw numbers of observations by time of day.


My main concern is also wrong time, especially wrong timezones, but it’s a nice idea, maybe not for a separate graph.

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as long as there is a correctly recorded time, time zone, and location on the observation, you should be able to classify observations by night, dawn, day, and dusk. i’m not sure how useful such information would be broadly though. it’s hard to tell if things are being observed more or less because of the human observer or because of the subject.

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(moved this to #general)

@dduff I think there’s an existing feature request that matches this:


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