Is it at all worth while to post observations that are not “backed up” by a photo or audio recording? I’ve been birding for over 4 decades and have over 30,000 records from all 50 states and much of Canada. Prior to the late 1990s, I have almost no photo “evidence” to back up these sightings. I certainly wouldn’t attempt to put all of them on iNaturalist, but some worthwhile sightings - unusual or Life Birds - might be possible. Like the Broad-billed Sandpiper at Jamaica Bay NWR, NY , Sep 1, 1998 that I drove 700 miles to see. Or the Kelp Gull at the Sea Breeze Inn, Sandgates, MD the I drove 1100+ miles in a day and a half. Did get a photo of that one as he posed on the pier. But many observations have no photo, mainly do to a)Lack of telephoto lens and b) light and weather conditions. The later was usually the case for many seabirds that resulted in blurred or missed photos - if attempted at all. So, is it worth posting , what I would call, significant sightings, if there’s no photo or ?
Yes by all means, post as many of these as you like. I have 85 such records myself (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&quality_grade=casual&user_id=thebeachcomber&verifiable=any&photos=false), mostly species that were lifers at the time for me or I wanted them for a particular site (e.g. my yard list) but I either didn’t have my camera or missed the shot. The benefit of adding these is that they’ll contribute to your life list
Of course add them if you want. I’ve got 20k of them and still add some. Before you start, are they in eBird?
If they are you can with a little IT knowledge export your ebird history and then import it back into inat.
Thanks - OK will sort thru my list and perhaps add Lifers. How exactly do I add a post without a photo though? When I click on “Upload” as I would do for a regular photo verified posting, it asks to “Drag & drop some photos or sounds” or “Choose Files”. If I haven’t a jpg file or sound file what’s the option?
Have very little on eBird - I find it tedious to use, especially in comparison to iNaturalist.
Is it permissible to use a “stock photo” say from Wikipedia so as to upload an observation for which I lack a photo, if it’s made plain that said photo is Not of the particular bird (in my case) sighted in the observation, but a stock photo from, ex, Wikipedia?
No, all photos used on iNat must be your own. The only case where using a photo taken by a different person is permitted is if these 3 criteria are met (and all 3 must be met)
- you credit the photographer in the comments
- you have their permisson to use it
- you were present when the photo was taken, ie the photo depicts a specimen you personally saw at the time and place the photo was taken
If you use the website for your uploads, when you hit the Upload button, there is an add dropdown in the top left of the upload page. One of the options there is Observation without media.
To add an observation with no photo, click on +Add at the top left of the add observation page. Do not use a stock photo - it will be considered copyright infringement, and the post flagged. Just add the name and other data, and a ‘cartoon’ iNat symbol will be added to the spot where the picture should go. I have a few observations with no photo, but I don’t see much that’s outstanding or rare!!
EDIT I did not see that @cmcheatle, who is a much better resource for this than me, had already addressed these issues!
Yes, I thought that was indeed the case. No problem.
Ah, yes. Got it. Will give it a try :-)
Hmmmm…OK I posted a record w/o photo - Broad-billed Sandpiper, Jamaica Bay NWR, NY, USA, sep 1, 1998. When I click “submit observation” I get a warning box - " Some observations are missing media or identifications. Observations without media will not be visible by default in searches, and those without any identification may not be seen by experts looking for specific taxa. Even a very coarse identification like “plants” can help a plant expert find your observation." “Go Back / Continue”. So is the record going to be available to others or invisible to all but me?
It will be ‘invisible’ in the default search (for which only verifiable [Needs ID and RG] observations show), but will be searchable and visible if users look at casual observations
As others have said, it is completely OK to post observations without media to iNat. However, since observations have different grades and ideally an observation should reach research grade (RG) (and most bird observations will reach RG on iNat), I would guess that RG observations would be a lot more used compared to non-RG observations on iNat. Without media, your observations will never reach RG. eBird does not have this grade thing and I think your observations would be a lot more used on eBird compared to iNat since they would not differ from all other observations. Thus, if you want your observations to be useful, I think that eBird would be a better place. If you are mostly interested in a personal list, iNat would work just fine and indeed it works better for that than eBird. I may be wrong on this, but this is my guess!
frousseu - OK, mainly concerned w/ personal listing so will go with iNaturalist. I find the sBird set up very cumbersome to use and haven’t done much at all with it. For data, I’ve relied on AviSys for many years & still use it to log my bird observations. Too bad it’s no longer supported, but I’ll continue to use it until I can’t. Thanks.
I looked at your observations, and they are all there!
Thanks! Will be adding in other Life Birds w/o photo - will take awhile, tho, life list stands at @ 980
I thought I was the only one who is turned off by the ebird interface
Yes, observations with no ‘evidence’ are fine to add, they will not get research grade and those who don’t want to see them can filter them out. I’ve found it helpful to add old vegetation plot data to get the ranges of rarely observed plants more fleshed out and to compile data by wetland type, for instance. If it’s a huge dataset, like many thousands of observations, consider whether you can curate all the comments you may get and consider not adding all in a big CSV dump as i believe that is very taxing on the site to do.
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