What Avian Subspecies Are Available?

Greetings. I uploaded an observation of a Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) which was clearly, by morphology, subspecies cairnsi (“Appalachian”), but I was not (as far as I can tell) given the option of identifying it at the subspecific level.

This struck me as odd, since iNaturalist has a taxa page for this subspecies:

What do I need to do to ID my observation to the subspecies level for this species?


Did you include ssp when you tried typing in the ID? if you exclude that, it should appear in the ID dropdown.


I assume you mean this observation here

I notice you used the computer vision suggestion to do the ID. The computer vision tool does not suggest down to subspecies level, only species. If you wish to add a subspecies level ID you need to type it in by hand. In most cases this means starting to type the scientific name as most subspecies do not have common names.


also, just typing the first three letters of each part of the binomial should give a shortlist that includes subspecies

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Whoa; mind blown! I didn’t know it would do internal string matching like that! Thanks!


To answer the question in the general case, iNat aligns with the subspecies included in the latest Clements checklist. Occasionally there is an omission, typically when it’s a subspecies that isn’t field identifiable but those can be added by curators.

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It works for common names too, eg “app blu war”

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