I was surprised to see this snowy owl, first observed on iNat in Southern California, end up in the news. Has anyone else come across any other observations that have gone mainstream like this one has?
There was the rare Mola tecta sunfish in California a few years ago:
The first mottled duskywing sighted at Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario last year made the news, sort of. For context, mottled duskywings are extirpated from most of their historic range in Ontario, but are being reintroduced to Pinery. The start of the reintroductions was in 2021, and nobody was really sure if any of them would survive the winter. An iNat user posted a duskywing, misidentified as the very similar and more common juvenal’s duskywing, and it was identified as a mottled shortly thereafter. It’s mentioned in this article about the recovery project, and the observation is this one, if I recall correctly.
The mottled duskywing reintroduction has made the news several times, but this is the first article I could find that mentions the iNat observation.
This escaped atlas moth made the news, I think https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/133016462
They are way cool, but not normally found in the US.
A recent off course Fieldfare made the national news around here
It was recorded by an inatter here:
The article also states that it is the third recorded such sighting in the province - interestingly those other times have been recorded by inatters:
Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) was first documented in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in 2017 by a young naturalist – caused quite the media ruckus!
Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in March 2017 by Sam Hunt · iNaturalist
There was that bat falcon which crossed the border into Texas last year at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, making it the first record for the U.S.
I initially saw it on the cover of a magazine (TPWD I think?) and then found out the rest of the story. People from all over the nation came over to see it. Now that was a sensation…
This one https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/62272236 really hit the news, both the “oh I’ve seen those they aren’t rare wtf” people and the “OMG I HAVE ONE THOSE IN MY CAVES” people came out of the woodwork. First sighting in decades, was wondered to be extinct, it is a single site endemic. If you google “Shelta Cave Crayfish” youll see all the stories.