Happy Gerald Day

April 17th is Gerald Day, that is, the anniversary of the day Gerald was uploaded. With 442 IDs, 1075 comments, 339 faves, and 519 observation fields, Gerald has cemented his legacy as an icon of iNaturalist. Indeed, no observation on the entire site beats Gerald on any of those stats.

Yet, Gerald has yet to receive any official acknowledgment from iNaturalist itself. His observation page is easily one of the most visited pages on the entire site (likely just behind “identify” and “explore”). Yet there is no Twitter posts, or merch, or even an official celebration of his holiday.

Here is the place to do that I suppose. Gerald himself is getting difficult to load on many computers, and continuing to make his page larger by spamming Gerald Day celebration posts seems like perhaps a bad idea. But I would also like to discuss Gerald Day celebration ideas. In past years, users have written poems celebrating Gerald’s glory. But I would also like to brainstorm ways his holiday could be official acknowledged. It was brought up in Gerald’s comments that on April 17, iNat’s logo could be replaced with a Gerald logo. I really like this idea. It was also suggested that on Gerald Day, all CV suggestions could be Muskrat. While amusing, that would seem to present a headache for identifiers. :sweat_smile:

What are your other ideas? I’d love to see some Gerald fanart and poetry here as well.


If you don’t know about Gerald yet, here is the place to start: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5890862


Happy birthday to a legend, if only he knew of his own fame


alright that’s my new favorite observation. I didn’t even get a quarter of the way down the page and it’s hilarious.


I’m not so sure…it may never end…

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These are stickers I made for my friends and anytime we tell someone new about our lord and savior, Gerald, if they agree to ID Gerald we send them a card welcoming them to the cult and stickers to display their loyalty to the world.
I actually have thought it would be fun to set up a Gerald merch store and just donate all the money to iNat or some charity/conservation project, just haven’t found the time yet


Happy birthday, dear Gerald, a creature so wild,
With a tale of mistaken identity, that left folks beguiled.
From Marmota monax to Ondatra zibethicus true,
Your iNaturalist journey, an adventure anew.

Once misidentified, but now a star,
A famous observation, known near and far.
A battle of IDs, a war of sorts,
A community effort, with many reports.

Through perseverance and collaborative might,
Your true species emerged, shining bright.
A celebration today, your special day,
A reminder of nature’s wonders, in a unique way.

Oh, Gerald, the beaver, with fur so sleek,
A symbol of resilience, a lesson to seek,
That even amidst confusion, mistakes, and strife,
Nature’s beauty prevails, in the circle of life.

So here’s to you, Gerald, on this special date,
A birthday poem to commemorate your fate,
May you thrive in your habitat, forever free,
A beloved observation, for all to see!

Happy Birthday, Gerald! May your iNaturalist journey continue to inspire and educate, and may you enjoy many more years of observing and appreciating the wonders of the natural world.



@megan_blackmore Welcome to the forum. Awesome sticker.

I think that while we’re all waiting for the merch to launch an FAQ is in order. I can’t be the only one who has pondered the power and the glory of Gerald’s page and wondered whether his hard-won RG status might be sketchy. Captive/cultivated? HMMM? Somebody must know. Nothing says celeb like a whiff of scandal.

And do his friends call him Gerald or Gerry? Maybe Big G?

People have a right to know.

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ChatGPT can’t tell the difference between the lowly beaver and the noble Eastern muskrat?


“Visiting” Gerald broke my computer.


What was your prompt?

Gerald Wayne Muskrat
An observation so great
He fooled us thrice


I couldn’t get ChatGPT to make a poem that actually refernced Gerald, just generic muskrat poems, like this:

In the marshes and wetlands deep,
Where the water’s murky and steep,
Lived a muskrat named Gerald, sleek and strong,
With a coat of brown and a tail so long.

Gerald was known to all around,
For his skill and grace upon the ground,
And in the water, he was truly at home,
Swimming and diving with ease and aplomb.

He’d munch on plants and roots all day,
Or nibble on a fish, if it came his way,
And when the night would settle in,
He’d find his cozy burrow and settle in.

But one day, as Gerald swam about,
A curious creature came to scout,
A human with a camera, eager to see,
The wonders of the muskrat, wild and free.

Gerald didn’t mind the attention at all,
For he was used to visitors big and small,
And he posed and swam for all to see,
A true muskrat, wild and free.

And so, Gerald became a star,
Known near and far, both near and far,
And though his life went on the same,
He remained a muskrat, proud and untamed.


One of Gerald’s many contributions that we can honor today comes in the form of spin-off projects attempting to capture his likeness in other observations, such as Geralds of the World… many have tried to acheive the success he has had, but only few have gotten there. Still worth digging through the project though; there’s some great stuff in there.


Can we permanently change the 404 animal to Gerald? Is there anything special about the search mole?


I first asked it if it knew Gerald on iNat, but it didn’t, finally I gave it this (including the typos!):

Gerald is an Ondatra zibethicus which was origianlly identified as Marmota monax. There was an ID war going on for a while and it took many peopel to get the ID right. By Now it is the most famous observation on INaturalist. Today is the birthday of that observation. Write a birthday poem for Gerald.


Dang. Pretty impressive the stuff AI can do with a prompt – especially the rhyming.

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So curious about the five mavericks whose identifications of “groundhog (Marmota monax)” persist after six years. Where are they now? Did they go on to accomplish great things?


I am just sad that the observer of Gerald hasn’t embraced him. No word about Gerald on his profile! I wonder if he’s just blissfully unaware that most observations don’t get 400 ID’s and 1000 comments on iNat? Or just not active anymore at all?

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I think it would be interesting to have a bioblitz type event but instead of observations, it’s identifying. Correcting mid-ids, and getting things to RG on the anniversary of the biggest singular observation in iNat history, I believe would be very fitting. We could call it the Annual Gerald Identification Blitz, maybe?