iNat Observations - April 8th 2024 vs 2023

Cool post on Facebook comparing observation maps of April 8th 2024 vs 2023. You can see the higher density of observations along the eclipse path!


Oh, wow. That’s a really fascinating correlation. What do you think influenced the data; normally crepuscular / nocturnal species that were active during the eclipse and thus available for observation?

Where the crowds were


And probably a strong correlation between interest in eclipses and interest in other aspects of nature.


I spent about two hours at a park, just waiting for the eclipse to start, so I spent a lot of it plant hunting because I was there and why not. I can’t speak for anyone else but it was a great way to spend the lead up (even if we did end up having 100% cloud cover in the area I was!)


Very cool!

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I was doing the exact same thing, so there’s at least two of us! I also traveled to see it and was in a new region which made exploring all the more exciting.

We met several campsite neighbors who were also traveling for the eclipse but also using the time to add a few birds or such to life lists. No one I talked to was using iNaturalist, but plenty of kindred spirits all the same.


Yes! Maps of iNat observations are also maps of iNat observers.


That’s cool. I certainly did some bird and plant photography in a public park in Texas before and after the eclipse. Ran into some birders doing the same. All of us there to experience natural phenomena.

There was a joke going around on the web that you might experience very weird things in nature during the eclipse and advised “don’t trust the squirrel with a child’s face — it speaks only lies”. I did photo some squirrels not long before totality but they seemed pretty normal. ;-)


I was using three cameras that day: two telephoto SLRs, one with a solar filter, and my smartphone. Just in case I had to shoot a bird or plant as the sun was disappearing.

I was wondering if the eclipse would reflect in inat observations! very cool

We drove to view the total eclipse at a wildlife preserve we had never been to before so I was taking photos of flowers and wildlife while we were there. Haven’t posted my observations yet.


It is wild to see my own post come back around on a different platform. :rofl: I am glad others find it as interesting as me.


It is subtle but you can see fewer observations being made outside the eclipse path. That would suggest that a significant percentage of iNaturalist users saw the eclipse, particularity from the areas just outside the eclipse path.


Up in VT it was a beautiful day but still very much winter for life forms. That’s probably why the path fades to the north. There wasn’t much to see unless you are uploading bare trees or fungi.


I resemble that remark. ;-)

Perhaps that’s a better explanation than mine. It is probably unreasonable to think that 25% or more of iNaturalist users in states surrounding the totality line tried to see the eclipse. While most people would like it see it, travel can be difficult for many. I had to book off a whole week of vacation to see the eclipse myself and hope that fellow employees didn’t try the same thing. My luck wasn’t great, my group was clouded out (Presqu’ile Provincial Park in Ontario). The darkening and the wrap around sunset was awesome, but it wasn’t the whole show.

One other factor was that April 8 was a Saturday, last year, which would typically record more observations than a Monday. But I agree that any iNatter who lived near the path of totality and could get off from work/school to travel into the path, probably did.

It was one hour’s drive for me to get to my viewing site (considerably longer driving home, with all of the extra traffic). Not many wildflowers in bloom yet in Upstate NY, so I could only contribute two observations to the maps above. Even though it remained overcast for the main event, experiencing the darkness that swept over us with the shadow of totality was an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.


I also posted your fascinating maps on Facebook (with link to your Forum post). My version wasn’t the one @tiwane linked to, though. Thanks for producing this!

The eclipse path of 21 August 2017 is also clearly visible: