Multiple observations of same plant or animal...what do I do?

If I observe the same type of (insert plant or animal) on a different day, do I just upload it under previously identified species of the same (insert plant or animal), or do they get their own observation?
i.e. Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
I have numerous sitings, even 2 at the same time. (2 different observations because 2 different butterflies?)
I have found larva nearby. (different observation?)

i.e. Birds
I have photos of the adult and the babies…do they each have different observations? or do I upload the adult and then add additional photos to support?

If I missed an “Intro page to iNaturalist”, please be kind and redirect me. Thank you.
And if I did miss that page…I will go ahead and go on record and apologize for the 450+ observations I have already uploaded. :) Thanks.


Different individual, different observation. Different day, different observation.

Some people choose to add multiple observations for something like multiple individuals in a nest, so that you can annotate one as the egg or baby and one as the adult. But plenty of people will just add one observation instead of splitting it out. Your choice.

The Getting Started guide and the FAQ page are the two main intro type pages for the website. (There is a short tutorial on the app, but it’s very simple.)


Thank you SO MUCH!
I’ve been doing it correctly. WOOH! :)
I’m so excited to see the tutorial. Great help! Happy observing!


I hope it is okay to add a related question here? A professor from university sends out his students to observe with inaturalist. Great idea so far! But they go out in groups and make observations from the same plant, same angle for the photo, same day, but different observers. So there are popping up observation, that show basically the same. I wondered, if I should try to talk to him and ask him to stop the students doing the observations this way. Or is this totally okay and it‘s just me finding this boring when IDing the observations?
Thank you for advice!


This is totally fine – each observer has the same opportunity to use the site. If you feel overwhelmed, or simply bored, by the ID’ing process, then skip them.


Both the same person/same object later and the different people/same object now are fine to do. In either case y’all might find the “similar observation set” field useful. Here is a thread about it:

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Thank you very much for quick response!

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