How do you submit a candidate for the observation of the day?


Is there a simple way to inform the iNaturalist staff about a great new observation that someone created? While scrolling through the observations I often find some real gems that could definitely become observations of the day, but usually those observations just stay unnoticed by the community. In case I find something good, should I send the link of the observation to Is there a better way without bothering the staff? How do you guys do it? Does anybody know how they pick the observations of the day in the first place?

Thank you.


Send a personal message to @tiwane on iNat with the link and a brief explanation of why you think it should be OotD


Just in general, I think that favorited observations get searched for and favorited by other users, so favoriting may be a way to help other folks find it (though iNat definitely doesn’t promote “liked” posts in the same way as other social networks).

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Thanks tomasp for your question, I wondered often how the OotD are choosen, and noticed that some images “come back” after some weeks … And at the same time, I discover real jewels that are never hightlighted as OotD.
@cthawley Hi Chris, I like beautiful observations with a high quality (it’s work & luck, to get the right moment, light, etc. and art at the same time), so I often “give” the Favorite-Label. But since 5 years I’m active on iNat, I’ve never ever noticed any of these pictures being displayed as OotD … For example, all obs from @davidediana are pure beauty & stunning.
Well, mailing directly to tiwane seems to be the most reliable way to have any chance to see one of your discovered nuggets (your own, or someone else’s) to become OotD …
Anyway, this seems to be purely subjective. The only way to make it clear would be to definite criteria that any candidate for the OotD should fulfil …
Regards, chimu

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I don’t feel comfortable nominating my own observations. On the other hand, only a tiny percentage of mine, maybe even entirely contained in observations not yet uploaded, would possibly qualify. It would be nice to have an easier way of suggesting OotD, but that’s probably not in the plans.

Agree with you, not favoriting my own obs, but some users do …
Other stunning obs:

I’m not sure what you mean here by “come back”. I don’t believe we’ve ever chosen the same observation twice as observation of the day. Each week, however, one observation of the day is chosen as observation of the week and we write a blog post about it - is that what you’re referring to?

Millions of observations are posted to iNaturalist every month, and we choose 365/366 observations as observations of the day each year, which of course means there are many, many amazing observations that are never chosen as observation of the day. I’ll also note that several factors go into choosing observations. I try to keep it diverse across multiple axes (eg taxonomically, geographically), and I also try to not always choose the prettiest or most exotic photo, to emphasize that one doesn’t need expensive equipment or a large travel budget to make a cool or important observation.

There aren’t any definite criteria, it’s pretty subjective - it’s a fun way to share just a taste of what iNat is about, and no one should feel bad if an observation they think is great isn’t chosen - it’s impossible to get every cool observation out there.

Things that might boost an observation’s chances are:

  • a significant documentation, like the first obs of a species posted to iNat, or a range extension, etc

  • documentation of a cool or interesting behavior

  • an observation from a part of the world or a taxon that’s underrepresented on iNat

  • a great photo


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