How to handle repeat species

I also have my personal favourites and take photos of them every day I see them. Sometimes it may be the same individual, sometimes there’s no way to tell. I do stop short of posting multiple photos of different individuals of one species observed on the same day unless there are noticeable differences (usually life stage or sex)

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I often photograph repeat species… even Canada Geese. I walk the same trail on an almost weekly basis and it helps me track dates/appearances from year to year as other factors, e.g., vegetation, change.


Someone after my own heart. Nature changes almost daily. There is always some change to note. One need not venture far from home.

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As many folks have pointed out, do what you feel most comfortable with. This comment is to add perspective from a a scientist who uses iNaturalist data. Recent research on “eco-niche modelling” shows that models were more accurate when using data for areas where organisms had been observed in multiple years. So if an organism has been reported from a location in previous years, but not the current year, it would be helpful to take the observation.
Similarly, for species that migrate or only show up in areas sporadically as well as species with different life stages like flowering plants and insects, having monthly data is helpful. The monthly data is known as phenological data and can help researchers map out bloom periods, migration dates, seed collection, etc.
Using the Canada Goose as an example, taking observations every month they are present would allow researchers to know if the area is part of the wintering grounds, or just summer grounds. Similarly, if folks were able to capture eggs and goslings, researchers can use that data for local breeding periods.
So to summarize, yes do what you feel comfortable with but do know the data are useful for many things if they are repeats.
-Shaun McCoshum, PhD