Longest distance between you and your observation?

What’s the longest distance between you and your observation?

Mine as of right now was a pied butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/49098664. It was taken 120 metres away from me. I used a Sigma DG 70-300mm lens (lens info link: https://www.photoreview.com.au/reviews/lenses/full-frame/sigma-70-300mm-f4-56-dg-os-lens/).

What was yours?


Possibly this one.


You can see the zoom on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCzstStZlkw

Taken with my SX60 hs, at ~1300mm equiv.

Edit: new satelite map imagery I can actually see the tower and place I took it now. Appears about 450m.

Cool! I just go on google earth then measure the distance from there with the ruler feature.

I’m sure I will be beat by someone seeing an elephant from a hot air balloon or somebody seeing the red tide from miles away, but this is my best I think. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10532414.

Bald Eagles 800 meters away.

Fun question orlandob!


Cool observation! Quite a distance.

welcome to iNat!

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From the latest months it’s many obs of birds from my balcony with 500mm lens, 200+m, probably further away then the spot I added.

Also this Bittern, on the map it’s where it is theoretically, but there’s a high chance it was near the lake where other observations are while I was near my house. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44546116

Ah yeah.

Many hundreds of meters, if not a kilometer.



Many of my observations are plants. The zoom on my camera isn’t that good so I doubt I’ve got anything over 50m. I’ve seen a few pictures on Twitter of birds 4km / 3 miles away (seabirds taken from people’s home during lock down). Not seen any on iNat though.


This one is of humans, so maybe it doesn’t count:


At least 250 meters, give or take, with a 55-300 mm.

I found another, even farther one. A Mountain Goat, 1240 meters away (1200m away on map, plus 300m elevation :)). Very zoomed in and heavily cropped. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/21272437.

That actually makes me wonder, when you post an observation of something very far, should you pin its location from where you took the photo, or where the organism actually was?


Where the organism was, and probably good to make the accuracy radius larger than you normally might.


I have two saguaro cactus observations that I took from the back of a plane. We were probably about a mile above the ground so the total distance was likely >2 miles away.


How would I know how far away it was? https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/21505629

You probably can’t be sure with that observation, but it looks far!

iNat observations don’t record organisms, they record encounters with organisms. I personally don’t put a pin on the location of a distant bird I photograph with my telephoto lens. And in general I think this works out OK, since recording the precise location for a bird is generally not as important as recording the precise location of a plant, and I’d say nearly all plant photos were taken in close proximity to the plant.


An encounter takes two (you and the organism/evidence) and I think from the perspective of iNat’s role as an organism occurrence database it makes more sense and is in line with other recording efforts that the pin be placed at the organism rather than the person. Usually it doesn’t matter a ton but we’re intentionally looking at extremes here.


Apparently there is unbolded text I didn’t read. :-P A mile away is probably a good situation for pinning the organism’s location. But I’d say for less extreme situations, where you were is fine.