How many of the top 50 most commonly observed taxa have you seen, and do you plan on seeing the ones you haven't seen yet?

For me, I have seen 43 of the top 50 most observed species on INat. The seven I haven’t seen are Trachemys scripta, Sceloporus occidentalis, Pandion haliaetus, Parus major, Odocoileus hemionus, Ardea cinerea, and Vanessa cardui.
I think the only reason I haven’t seen Vanessa cardui is an extreme streak of bad luck because it is common and widespread where I live, so I believe that I will be able to see it sometime this year. Trachemys scripta is a bit out of my comfort zone as far as observations go, because I don’t often observe turtles, but I could see myself getting an observation of this species in the next couple of years. I would also like to get an observation of Pandion haliaetus sometime soon, the next time I’m on the great lakes I will have to keep an eye out for this majestic bird. Sceloporus occidentalis and Odocoileus hemionus are both found in the western states, I don’t have any plans to go to this area anytime soon so I doubt I will be getting observations for these species in the foreseeable future. Ardea cinerea appears to be found mainly in europe but there is a glimmer of hope for my chances of seeing this species because there appear to be some scattered sightings off of the coasts of Nova Scotia and New England, it seems unlikely I will see this species but you never know. And lastly Parus major appears to be fully constricted to Europe so I doubt I will be able to see this species. What about you?

I’m missing a lot… almost half:

So common I’ve never bothered to post an observation: 6, Canada goose, American robin, white-tailed deer, white clover, Queen Anne’s lace (this surprises me actually), common dandelion (although I’ve heard this isn’t supposed to go to species from photo anyway - but I don’t have anything in the genus).

Seen but never had an opportunity to take a decent photo: 5, house sparrow, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, osprey, American crow.

Never seen/noticed: 9, house finch, song sparrow, yellow-rumped warbler, dark-eyed junco, pond slider, downy woodpecker, double-crested cormorant, great tit, painted lady.

Outside my area: 3, western fence lizard, mule deer, grey heron.

Also I only have what I suspect is a raccoon footprint awaiting ID, I haven’t seen a raccoon in the flesh since I started inatting I don’t think.

I don’t photograph birds much so I suspect most of this list just isn’t happening, but I’m not too pressed to try to fill it out. I certainly wouldn’t mind adding most of them (probably can’t be bothered for geese or robins though… I feel that observing one in my area is a bit like observing that water is wet), but I’d say most of my obs wishlist aren’t on the top 100 list but large charismatic insects because I’m generic like that (Saturniids, stag beetles, bumblebees…)


I’ve observed all of except Great Tit (Parus major).

I’ve seen, and have iNat observations of, 48/50, only missing Western Fence Lizard and Gray Heron.

I’m sure I’ll see Western Fence Lizard and Gray Heron during my travels in the future, but at the moment I’ve never been in either of their ranges.

Great Tit (Parus major) is not restricted to Europe. It is found throughout Eurasia, as well as on the north coast of Africa, plus an introduced population in Wisconsin.


If I know that a given taxon is over observed, I actively avoid observing it. When I’m planning to travel to a new area, I bring up the “Explore” tab, choose the “Species” tab, and then compile an “avoid” list of the top 5–10 most observed taxa in that locality.

Exactly, hence my preceding paragraph.


How did you generate the top 50 list?

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Could it be as simple as this?

Yeah could be!

There was a previous old thread on this topic that I really enjoyed, but can’t find now.

I think great tits were my last remaining species of the current iNat top 50, and I saw one last year so 100%!


23… But I’ve never been to North America, so that rules out quite a few! If I repeat the exercise for just Europe I get 48, with the exceptions being hooded crow (not been in it’s ‘most typical’ range in iNat days, though it can turn up in places I’ve been), and wall lizard (Podarcis muralis - not in my own area). I’m surprised how many different things are on the list for just the UK - but I get 50/50 - in fact my first UK miss is number 89, Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).


About 30 I would need to travel to the states (or near by). 14 yes. 6 that I could probably find easily enough if I look, but just havent taken pics of yet.

Out of interest (Note to self), checking NZ from the top 50 I need

Old Man’s Beard
Silver Fern
Five Finger
Myrtle Rust

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Yup, it is.

In case anyone doesn’t want to count them out, here’s the top 50:

  1. Mallard
  2. Western Honey Bee
  3. Monarch
  4. Asian Lady Beetle
  5. House Sparrow
  6. Great Blue Heron
  7. Canada Goose
  8. American Robin
  9. White-tailed Deer
  10. Great Egret
  11. Eastern Gray Squirrel
  12. Red-tailed Hawk
  13. Rock Pigeon
  14. Northern Cardinal
  15. House Finch
  16. Common Yarrow
  17. Mourning Dove
  18. Common Eastern Bumble Bee
  19. European Starling
  20. Red-winged Blackbird
  21. Common Dandelion
  22. Song Sparrow
  23. Turkey Vulture
  24. Seven-spotted Lady Beetle
  25. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  26. Red Admiral
  27. White Clover
  28. Northern Mockingbird
  29. Dark-eyed Junco
  30. Pond Slider
  31. Cabbage White
  32. Bald Eagle
  33. Red Clover
  34. American Toad
  35. Garlic Mustard
  36. Western Fence Lizard
  37. Downy Woodpecker
  38. Common Garter Snake
  39. Queen Anne’s Lace
  40. Double-crested Cormorant
  41. Osprey
  42. Great Tit
  43. Mule Deer
  44. Ground-Ivy
  45. Common Raccoon
  46. Gray Heron
  47. Turkey-Tail
  48. American Goldfinch
  49. American Crow
  50. Painted Lady

I have seen 37.

The 13 I have not seen are 9 birds and 4 other animals, since I’m mostly interested in plants I’m not too worried about seeing them. If I use the 50 most observed of Austria and not worldwide there’s 6 I have not seen (5 insects and 1 bird).

If I filter for just plants, then from the 50 most observed plants there’s 6 I’m missing. From the 50 most observed plants in Austria there’s just 1 I’m missing.

I’ve seen 38 out of 50 for sure

Ones I’m missing due to not being able to travel far:
Garlic Mustard
Western Fence Lizard
Great Tit
Mule Deer
Gray Heron

A friend wants to take me to west Texas. I’d like to see some Mule Deer if I’m able to go.

Ones in my area that I’m certain I haven’t seen yet:
Common Yarrow
Cabbage White

I may or may not have seen:
Seven-spotted Lady Beetle
Red Clover
American Toad
Painted Lady

So far the lady beetles I’ve submitted that look similar to Seven-spotted Lady Beetle have been Asian Lady Beetles or Convergent Lady Beetles. So far all the toads I have submitted have been Gulf Coast Toads, Fowler’s Toads, or not identified to species. So far all the “ladies” I’ve submitted have been American Ladies. I still have quite a large backlog of photos and audio though. The Red Clover around here is pink. There are lots of other pink clovers though. I don’t think I took photos of any of them. Need to go find some again.

45 +/- a couple. A large number of these are on my yard list thanks to the NA-centric fauna.


World: 20/50 (3 of them captive)

Europe: 18/50
France: 13/50 (according to iNat, at least 7 more unrecorded, the joy of growing in the city)

Australia: 47/50 (2 captive); 81/100130/200 (5 captive); (9 captive)
New South Wales: 47/50 (2 captive though not the same as Australia wide, being honest here 1 species observed captive in NSW but wild in Victoria); 85/100 (3 captive); 142/200 (6 captive)
Missing in NSW: one snake, as long as I can avoid it I’m happy, one dwarf frog for which I would need lots of luck, and one bird I may have seen. I might cheat and go to the zoo to observe the snake and the frog ;)

Edit: funny enough, narrowing to Greater Sydney it gets worse: 46/50 (2 captive), 83/100 (3 captive), 139/200 (7 captive)

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Found it:

Started by @birdwhisperer in July 2020. Fun to compare what’s new or newly seen since then.


So I’m actually missing common dandelion because I basically never take pictures of them - plus I’m shite at figuring out the differences between Taraxacum species. That said, the one dandelion pic I have is probably just common dandelion.

Missing 7 spotted lady beetle, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, white clover, pond slider, cabbage white, red clover, western fence lizard, Osprey (I never seem to have my zoom lens when I see them), great tit, and painted lady.

Some of them are because I haven’t been to those areas, some are because I just don’t take pictures of the stuff in my yard that often, and some of it is because I

That’s okay, my 26 Junco observations and my 30 Northern Cardinal obs can make up for it.

EDIT: Out of curiosity I looked at the top species for Ohio; Ohioans, whats up, why are there so many Odonata fiends in this state? There are twelve dragonfly species in the top 50 for Ohio.