Highest quality photos I've seen not get identified

Love the discussion this has prompted on difficulties of identifications from photos and the learning experiences that come from that!

To address this specific observation @Darxus mentioned above, I’m pretty sure the reason it was not identified quickly was because of the difficulty of differentiating Fish Crow and American Crow without vocalizations. While American Crow is much more likely, according to eBird data, than Fish Crow, some bird identifiers on iNaturalist (myself included) usually refrain from identifying crows to species based on photos of feathers, or even photos of the bird itself! Can we say this bird is most likely an American Crow based on the distribution of crow species in New Hampshire? Absolutely! Can we say that these photos prove with certainty that this is an American Crow and not a Fish Crow? Probably not.


That’s why I lament this move toward field guides that all use photographs. Give me the Peterson System for wildflowers – those line drawings emphasize crucial details that photos often do not. Plus, you get more species per page, which makes for a more comprehensive guide.


Here is a possibility. Made for Ottawa though. I mainly use Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide for violets for most woody and herb plants in general.



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