Show me what I haven't seen yet

It is possible using the unobserved_by_user_Id parameter in the observations view.

2 caveats

  • if you do a species view, you are restricted to the 500 most frequently seen species unless you start filtering down (ie add birds or beetles etc)
  • the ‘unseen’ is not geographic specific, it counts you as having seen it if you have seen it, but not in the location you specify.(so for example in the list below, Grey Kingbird will not appear, even though I have never observed one in Ontario, just elsewhere)

For excample this url shows all the birds reported from Ontario that I personally have not seen (or more accurately not recorded an iNat record for as I have actually seen some of them)

you can add additional filters for hrank and lrank equals species if you want to get rid of the genus level records.


In addition to the unobserved_by_user_id search filter for the website, you can try out the “Missions” feature on the Android app.


Can you give a little more detail on how to apply the unobserved param? When I look at the filters on the Observations page, I didn’t see an option with that name. I did try pasting it into the Description/Tags field but that didn’t work.

What am I missing?


It’s a URL that you need to modify so that it refers to your name, your place, your taxa, etc., and bookmark it in your browser if you want to save it. There is no filter for species that you haven’t seen on any page that I know of, but in my opinion there should be.

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OHH. Got it–thanks. Yes, a pre-fab filter choice would be nice.


Here are more URLs for various searches:

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So something like making a Needs list on eBird? If so, then yes I would totally love this functionality to be added


All the parameters used are on that form or visible under the more filters option, except the unobserved one. That you have to type in by hand to the URL.

It is one of many options available not on that form. There are actually about 40 search options. I don’t want to claim to be speaking on behalf of the iNat team but a form showing all of them would be unwieldy, so some you just have to type, as they have prioritize the most frequently used.

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If I go to places, and search for Gisborne (my city/region) I can go to the place page. There I can find a View Check List page link on the left hand side. In that page, there is an option on the right side to filter to observed = no. It seems to give me a taxa list of what has been seen by others, but not by me…

That does not seem to work properly, likely a function of the overall buggy behaviour of lists. If I go to my home county, the checklist has 2146 items. Clicking no on observed gives me a list of only 49. A large number that ‘should’ be there are not.

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Thanks very much for drawing my attention to this. I think it could be really useful! I agree that this should be a more accessible toggle though, maybe using the ‘Not’ functionality?

However, there is a bit of a weird situation. If I go to, say, unobserved by me in the ‘Wildlife of Glasgow’ project, it still shows genus or above level taxa that contain animals I have seen (for instance Larus, or Cygnus). Any idea why that is? >>

What it is saying is that you have not recorded a record at the genus level - ie a record where the ID is Larus, not one of the children of Larus.

Add the hrank and lrank filters per below and it will turn those off (although oddly it will still show hybrids for some reason)

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Seems like you could also use the compare tool for this, at least for searches that would return less than 500 taxa (e.g., I can use the compare tool to see all the birds ever observed in Sonoma County and compare to the ones I’ve observed and see which are “not in common.”).

It seems to me that the ability to adjust the URL is a hugely powerful feature. If only we could all be trained in it’s use (or it made available via a drag-and-drop or similar approach). There is tremendous potential to give users access to information that otherwise would require a feature request.

I adjusted the given example;

What a great view. I will use this often

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The challenge with using the compare tool is that it assumes that the list is accurately maintained, and given their buggy behaviour, that is a risky assumption.

I’ve also never found a way to compare a filtered checklist, for instance take the Ontario checklist and filter it to plants and compare against a list of mine that lists all my seen plants. I’ve only ever seen the ability to compare the entire list, which can be overwhelming.

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I think kestrel meant this compare tool, e.g. birds observed in Ontario that Chris hasn’t yet observed in 2019 in Ontario.


Woohoo, I got it working. This is exactly what I was trying to do…Thanks!

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Yes, thanks - that’s the one I meant. I was running out the door and didn’t have time to add links! :grinning:


Amazing, thank you!

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