Multiple photos of the same bird

Why do some people post multiple photos of what is obviously the same bird?

Some users don’t realize you can have multiple photos a sighting. Usually it isn’t maliciously intended.


1 Like

@lbislander, this forum is not a place for complaining, it’s for constructive conversation. If you’re genuinely interested in why some people post multiple observations of the same bird, please amend your post to start a conversation about it. If you have any ideas about how iNat can perhaps prevent or reduce this from happening, please amend your original post to reflect that. Otherwise I’ll close this topic.


Should this perhaps be added at: Just wondering.

1 Like

Thanks! Added some text to and I also amended

1 Like

On that note… I have not found a way to upload multiple images as one observation from the start (which is why once or twice I have uploaded more than one image of an observation separately). I know one can add additional images of the species after having uploaded an observation, but I haven’t found a way to do that all at once as I am doing the original uploading. This makes it a little tedious to then go back and find the extra images (which might give different perspectives on the same observation) and upload them to the observation. If there is already a way to do this, I’d be happy to know! Thanks.

1 Like

On the website, you can click and drag images into each other during upload. You can also select multiple images at once (using “Select all” or the Ctrl or Shift and click selection keyboard shortcuts) and then click the “Combine” button, which will have the same effect.

On the app there is an image symbol with a + sign that you can click.

I do get the impression that a lot of people have trouble figuring out all of these methods.


I had a problem with that too but I found that if I uploaded one a little box would appear beside the first one and I could upload a second one to that. Maybe there’s a better way to do it.


sorry. I’ve amended.


On android, if you press and hold a picture for a second, it will then allow you to select multiple photos to add. I assume apple has a similar method for selecting multiple photos.


Thanks! It’s fine to be frustrated, but I just want to make sure this forum becomes a way to improve understanding and functionality and not just a place to vent. :-)

@upupa-epops is correct in that you can combine images into one observation via the web uploader, either by dragging and dropping or selecting and choosing Combine. Here’s a tutorial video: And there are ways to add more than one photo via the apps. Which one are you using? It’s always really helpful for comments on the forum to be as specific as possible.

Overall my guess is that not understanding how to combine photos is the main issue you bring up, @lbislander.

Not sure it can be prevented, but a way to solve it would run a scan on new users uploads and if they have multiple observations of the same species at nearly the same GPS location taken withing a minute of each other, you could suggest merging those and/or showing them a tutorial on how to post multiple photos on one observation and why it is the proper way of making observations.

Hopefully limiting to newer users would catch most of those who need help and not add too much work to the servers.

You could also detect photos taken very close to one uploaded in the last few minutes and have a popup ask, “Is this the same individual you posted ____ minutes ago? If you would like to add this photo to that observation, click Yes. If this is another individual of the same or other species, click No.”


It’s definitely something we’ve discussed as part of a broader onboarding initiative. Probably worth a pop-up once or twice for a new user.


You might try a simple change in your getting started guides:
Change this “2 Add one or more photos as evidence.” to this “2 Add one or more photos as evidence.”

Also change the video tutorial to show them adding more than one photo to an observation.

I forget when I realized you could add more than one photo to an observation. I think it was when I lingered too long with my finger selecting a photo.

1 Like

I didn’t think it was particularly easy to figure out either - but have found it and tried it. It’s too much ‘work’ for casual users and observers

Just to be clear, @lbislander do you mean multiple images of the same subject:

  1. within the same relative time frame? (my thought is that this is what you are referring to)
  2. over a greater time frame such as days weeks or months?
  3. both of the above?

As well, are you also referring to multiple images of the same subject submitted by different observers which seem to occur at events such as bioblitzs or educational courses?

@bobmcd I was referring to no. 1 in your question.

I was wondering if posting multiple photos of the same bird or other organism that really should be posted as one observation but instead are posted as multiple observations will have any adverse effect on the data but I suppose that occurred to me because I am used to eBird which tracks abundance.

Thank you! I will try that next time!

1 Like

Yes. And now I will have a better understanding of how to do it! Thanks,