How you knew the animal was here if you did not observe it directly and visually

Datatype: text
Allowed values:
None Recorded 3634
Tracks 9296
Scat 3951
Remains 1070
Call/Song 1085
Evidence of Feeding 2076
Evidence of Egg Laying 443
Smell 12
Scratching/Scent Post 179
Nest 801
Burrow/Den 351
Web 34
Fur/Feathers 555
Shell/Exoskeleton 688
Shed skin 37
Window print 13
View All
Created by: charlie charlie
Values:

Observations specifying this field

Observation Animal Sign and Song

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Observer

alexbarnard

Date

June 2024
Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Observer

william-harland

Date

June 5, 2024 11:29 AM NZST

Description

Ootheca.

Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Observer

alice_shanks

Date

June 8, 2024 07:28 PM NZST

Description

On old wintersweet tree.

Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Observer

william-harland

Date

June 5, 2024 02:14 PM NZST

Description

Ootheca.

Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

South African Mantis (Miomantis caffra)

Observer

hols1

Date

June 11, 2024 02:14 PM NZST

Description

SA mantis eggs

Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Date

May 6, 2024 10:52 AM NZST

Description

long gone

Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

South African Mantis (Miomantis caffra)

Observer

carrrat

Date

May 31, 2024 10:07 AM NZST
Evidence of Egg Laying
Evidence of Feeding
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

What

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Observer

regina13

Date

June 11, 2024 10:39 AM EDT
Call/Song

Photos / Sounds

What

Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)

Observer

deaw

Date

June 8, 2024 06:52 AM +07
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Observer

aradia223

Date

June 6, 2024 04:15 PM EDT
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Karamu Leafminer (Corythoxestis zorionella)

Date

June 4, 2024 02:49 PM NZST
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

What

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

Observer

regina13

Date

June 5, 2024 10:06 AM EDT
Call/Song

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Moonsnail (Euspira heros)

Date

June 5, 2024 04:44 PM EDT
Shell/Exoskeleton

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

Observer

zooid

Date

June 2, 2024 01:54 PM NZST

Description

Egg case

Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

Rosellas (Genus Platycercus)

Observer

koru

Date

May 14, 2024 04:11 PM AEST
Fur/Feathers

Photos / Sounds

What

European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Observer

andymckay

Date

June 4, 2024 08:40 AM NZST
Tracks

Photos / Sounds

What

Flax Window-Maker (Orthoclydon praefectata)

Observer

noahfenwick

Date

June 3, 2024 01:00 PM NZST
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

What

Beech Witches Broom Mite (Cymoptus waltheri)

Observer

noahfenwick

Date

June 3, 2024 11:01 AM NZST
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

What

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)

Observer

nataliecarballo

Date

May 30, 2024 11:17 AM EDT
Nest
Evidence of Egg Laying
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

What

Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus)

Observer

mdinaw

Date

June 2, 2024 04:03 PM EDT
Call/Song

Photos / Sounds

What

Typical Old World Deer and Elk (Genus Cervus)

Observer

jon_sullivan

Date

May 8, 2024 09:57 AM NZST
Remains

Photos / Sounds

What

Two-spotted Ladybird (Adalia bipunctata)

Observer

stewart710

Date

May 28, 2024 03:30 PM MDT
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)

Observer

regina13

Date

May 30, 2024 11:18 AM EDT
Call/Song

Photos / Sounds

What

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Observer

regina13

Date

May 30, 2024 11:40 AM EDT
Call/Song
Evidence of Feeding
Evidence of Feeding
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Comments

I've created this field to match the field of the same name on iNaturalist.

Posted by jon_sullivan almost 11 years ago

The field value "remains" doesn't seem to have been used much, I presume that it is for the subject animal's body parts or complete body. Do you think it might be worth having a specific fur/feathers value as well?

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

That might be useful, especially when its a loose feather rather than part of a carcass.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 9 years ago

I'll add it for now and we'll see how much usage it gets. Other people using this field are welcome to disagree or make other suggestions.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 9 years ago

How about changing Nest to Nest/Burrow? Or something that would cover a wide range of animals.

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

I agree, but one of the curator guidelines is not to make arbitrary changes to existing categories in other people's custom fields (I don't think it will change past observations that use "nest", although there aren't that many and we could do that manually).

Would you instead want burrow to be a separate category? That might work better.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 9 years ago

I don't mind if you change it to nest/burrow but I don't remember if I added nest or if someone else did

Posted by charlie over 9 years ago

I see what Jon means about little used, 4 of the 5 uses were added by me, I possibly added Maurice's observation too. If I removed all current uses, would that help :-). The field is not species/genera specific for other values (eg calls/song can refer to any animal from Cicada to Whale), so to differentiate between animals that build nests and other structures would seem odd - except if we differentiate "nest" to being a structure for reproductive purposes and a "burrow" just being a "home"... I think I've talked myself into accepting "burrow" as separate (so long as people can find this documentation ;-), is there a better word that denotes "home", "den"? "burrow/den"?

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

Though I'm not sure where I would put bee/wasp nests. A hive is as much a home as a nest, a bumblebee might have a burrow, which is a nest too.

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

I'm thinking that "nest/burrow" as one would be the best. I'd like something generic that meant "constructed home", but nothing's coming to me.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 9 years ago

I see "burrow" was added sometime, I thought we were going for nest/burrow - is a kingfisher hole a nest or a burrow?

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

Yeah... i am actually not sure what fields make the most sense, since I'm less of a wildlife biologist than a lot of people. So... please feel free to change it however seems to make sense for you.

Posted by charlie over 9 years ago

Thanks Charlie.

And yes, Tony, I thought some more about this and needed burrow so just added it. It was better that than going back and changing all the "nest" observations to "nest/burrow". I expect it's good to be able to separate those sometimes.

For a kingfisher, I'd say if you looked or felt in the hole and found a nest with eggs, chicks, or egg shell, then it's a definitely nest. Nest trumps burrow. But if you didn't do that, and there was no sign of reproduction going on, then burrow would work just as well. I admit that this one's a bit ambiguous.

The trick is that, for some animals, burrows can be roosts or nests. Nest to me means a place for birth and rearing of young. Since bees and wasps always build their burrows for reproduction, nest seems the most appropriate for them. But it shouldn't be much trouble for whoever uses this data to sort through and reclassify by taxa as necessary in their analysis (if Hymenoptera, burrow = nest, etc.).

Posted by jon_sullivan over 9 years ago

Yes a kingfisher burrow is only constructed for nesting purposes, and so by your bee example should be classed as a nest instead :-).
As this field is only for when an animal isn't directly observed, I wouldn't use it for bees as invariably it is the bees leaving/entering that indicates the nest - so this field isn't appropriate. I suppose if I found an old bee nest (with no bees present) when turning over a compost pile then 'nest' would be appropriate.

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

Good point about kingfishers. And bees. I agree that an old bee nest found inside an excavated burrow would be a nest. And that if the bees were still there, we wouldn't be using this field at all.

So, I think we're good!

Posted by jon_sullivan over 9 years ago

Bite marks in a chew card (or elsewhere) could be entered as evidence of feeding, or do we want a seperate value?

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

Can we have a value of "Not recorded" set as the first option because a number of projects are now using this field, but often it is irrelevant and not filled, but defaults to "Tracks".

eg "Tracks" is meaningless in all these plant observations inaturalist.org/observations?q=&search_on=&taxon_name=Plantae&taxon_id=47126&order_by=observations.id&order=desc&field%3Aanimal+sign+and+song=Tracks&view=table

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

added, hopefully it will become the default

Posted by charlie over 9 years ago

Thanks :-)

Posted by tony_wills over 9 years ago

Also, Jon, I totally give you permission to make arbitrary changes to my field... I made it looong ago when fields were new and i found some animal poop or something, didn't know it would becom the default field to use for this and since I mostly observe plants (and I observe almost nothing during the harshest winter in 50 years or whatever) I haven't used it much lately

Posted by charlie over 9 years ago

I've just added "window print" for observations like this one: https://inaturalist.nz/observations/1369072

Its a phrase in use elsewhere on the internet for the bird imprint left by window strike.

Thanks to tony_wills for suggesting this.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 8 years ago

I just came across http://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields/1484, but I think this field name is rather more literary than "evidence type"
(And judging from the number of projects using this one, it has the public vote of approval :-)

Posted by tony_wills over 8 years ago

Good spotting. I'd not noticed that one before. There is a fair amount of overlap. Oh well. That's just the way it goes. One day we might attempt trying to merge some of these but in the meantime the main thing is that these extra details are being recorded.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 8 years ago

About 6 months ago I went through an exercise of loading all the fields into a spreadsheet, categorizing them and looking at what could be merged. Arrgghh, even if you ignore the different language versions there is a lot of unnecessary duplication (like certain kereru projects that choose a different field name for the perfectly serviceable "count" ;-). The field merge tool needs to be a lot more sophisticated, allow mapping of old to new field values, and cater for upper/lowercase differences (which are seen as different values).

Posted by tony_wills over 8 years ago

Yes. I was concentrating on other things when the kereru count folk locked in those kereru specific fields.

I agree that better field curation tools are needed. As we continue to grow globally, hopefully that will happen. Your spreadsheet sounds useful though. What any researcher using the data really needs is a field map of what is equivalent to what. Duplicate fields are OK as long as they can be brought together in the stats.

Would you like to make that more widely available? We could host it on the NatureWatch NZ blog if nowhere else.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 8 years ago

I'll bring it up to date. One feature that would help, would be having a descriptive title that is aliased to a standard field. Then you can have a field that prompts "How many Kereru did you see" that is actually stored in something called "count". (that would also accommodate different languages)

Posted by tony_wills over 8 years ago

Hey, now that's a great idea! Would you like to add it to the iNaturalist forum? I can see that being an elegant way to allow people to name fields what they need for projects without this constant duplication of fuctionality.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 8 years ago

Added "fossil" as it was evidence that the organism was here ... just a long time ago :-)
(includes sub-fossils, long buried bones etc)

Posted by tony_wills about 8 years ago

Fossil is a special case, I reckon. Enough to justify it's own field, fossil.

What do you think, @tony_wills? Should I also remove the option from Animal sign and song?

Posted by jon_sullivan about 8 years ago

One advantage of having these fields separate is we can keep fossil scat (e.g., here) separate from fossil bones, shells, etc.

Posted by jon_sullivan about 8 years ago

Agreed, it doesn't quite fit here, as some are of course not animal fossils. But one idea of having it in here is so that you can exclude any observations where the organisms wasn't actually present at the time of the observation, by just excluding observations with this field (though that doesn't work for 'song' as the animal is present, but maybe not seen ;-).

No real problem with removing the value from here, but have you added all these ones to the new field?

.. Just checked, 74 using this value, only 32 have the new field so far.

Posted by tony_wills about 8 years ago

Thanks. I'm going through them now. I've done the third page and am working through the second page at the moment.

As you note, it also works better for the plant fossils.

I suppose we can always specify both fields to get the observations of things not present at the time of observation (but, yes, we'd have to side step the song option). Maybe that should be separate too, but that would be a more time consuming split.

Posted by jon_sullivan about 8 years ago

OK. Done page 2 and 3 of the fossil observations. I'm hitting the sack now but will update page 1 tomorrow.

Posted by jon_sullivan about 8 years ago

I've added the fossil field to any left that still had this field =fossil. I'll leave you to update the animal-sign-and-song values manually.

Posted by tony_wills about 8 years ago

Thanks Tony. I just finished. All fossil observations in here are now moved to the fossil field and all animal fossils now have the relevant value added to "Animal sign and song" (usually "shell/exoskeleton" or "remains"). I've now removed the "fossil" option from the drop-down for "Animal sign and song".

Posted by jon_sullivan about 8 years ago

I've just added "Evidence of Egg Laying" to deal with the case of mantis ootheca that have hatched. "Shell/exoskeleton" was too general (it could as easily refer to an adult moult) and "Nest" is the wrong word for an insect egg case.

Posted by jon_sullivan almost 7 years ago

That will be useful.

Posted by tony_wills almost 7 years ago

@jon_sullivan: I suppose we should use that for empty bird eggshells too eg /observations/1181749

Posted by tony_wills almost 7 years ago

Yes, I was wondering if "Shell/exoskeleton" is too broad and shell should be removed. And exoskeleton could be "Exoskeleton/Moult" to include reptile skins. Of course, the Americans spell it "Molt" so there would be that to contend with.

Posted by jon_sullivan almost 7 years ago

Yes get rid of 'shell'. Birds eggshells, old insect egg masses are all evidence of eggs being laid (ie evidence of an adult animal being here, we don't know whether the eggs were successful). And shellfish shells, rams horn squid floats, and bones can all be termed 'remains'. There is perhaps a better field for these dead animals as this field is mainly about a live animal being here recently (or present nearby).

Exoskeletons of dead animals are just 'remains' (like bones), so perhaps just Moult/Molt for the evidence that a live animal was here. Not sure where crab carapaces should go, often can't really tell whether dead or just a moult?

Posted by tony_wills almost 7 years ago

oh man i am sleep deprived and i just misread that post as 'evidence of birds getting laid' and i was thinking well, kinda but that's a really weird way to think about it.
I feel like shed antlers etc mean something different than finding bones because the former fall off from a living healthy animal and the latter pretty much always mean the animal died.

Posted by charlie almost 7 years ago

Yes less iNat, more sleep :-)

I suppose antlers fit with fur/feathers and perhaps skin flakes and nail fragments if we were a bit more observant. And what about detachable lizard tails. Have we a word to cover them all? (Sheddings?, Discards?)

Posted by tony_wills almost 7 years ago

ha, indeed. Though the lack of sleep has more to do with toddler teething than iNaturalist...

Posted by charlie almost 7 years ago

Ahh, reminds me of another animal sign - discarded teeth :-)

Posted by tony_wills almost 7 years ago

ha! we've got aways to go before that. But what an annoyance to go through all that pain and lost sleep only to have the child teeth fall out in a few years anyway

Posted by charlie almost 7 years ago

I like the idea of a molt(moult) category for shed antlers, snakes skins, and other evidence that the animal generally loses in a repeated and non-lethal manner.

Posted by star3 over 6 years ago

Thanks @star3

I don't much like rewording existing categories unless I can help it because then we're stuck with lots of obs with old wording to update. I wonder if we should keep "shell/exoskeleton" as it is (to deal with things like in crab shell and snail shells), keep using "evidence of egg laying" when we find the special case of egg shells, and add a new category for "shed skin" for non-exoskeleton moults.

One benefit of "shed skin" is that it side-steps the spelling of molt/moult.

@tony_wills and @charlie, does that sound good to you?

Posted by jon_sullivan over 6 years ago

yeah good point about old observations and changes.

To be honest I am more of a botanst and don't have a good feel for what categories are most important for more involved animal study. I just created this field very long ago when not many others were on the site. So whatever you all decide is fine with me

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago

@jon_sullivan, I also like "shell/exoskeleton" as a separate category from egg shells.

What would everyone think of amending "shell/exoskeleton" to "shell/exoskeleton/shed skin"? I think shed snake skins fit in with exoskeleton thematically, and I think you 'd want to keep the adjective "shed" to separate it from skins that would fall under "remains".

Posted by star3 over 6 years ago

I couldn't see anything suitable for a spiderweb when no spider is visible, so added 'Web'. If anyone has improvements on that, make them soon before the entry gets used too much.

Posted by tony_wills over 4 years ago

how would you all mark down a beaver dam here? I hate to make a new category just for that (i think there is another field for beavers anyway)

Posted by charlie over 4 years ago

Would "burrow" or "nest" work?

Posted by star3 over 4 years ago

There is a little used field called 'beaver lodge' but that should probably be merged with 'beaver evidence' (which has 'lodge' as an option). If it is known that the beaver has young in the lodge, I suppose you could also add 'animal sign and song->nest' too.

Posted by tony_wills over 4 years ago

hmm, yeah i wish i knew when they had young, but i never do. I usually just see the dam/wetland, rarely see the actual beaver

Posted by charlie over 4 years ago

@charlie I'd suggest just using "nest" here for a beaver lodge, and using one of the beaver specific fields that @tony_wills mentions to provide more detail. Although does "nest" always imply young? Perhaps we need to add "den" to capture animals' shelters that are not for nesting.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 4 years ago

Perhaps we should change "Burrow" to "Burrow/Den"

Posted by tony_wills over 4 years ago

well, i usually see the dam, and not always the lodge. I am not sure i'd call a dam a nest.
I am ok with burrow/den except it will break all the old data, right?

Posted by charlie over 4 years ago

Yes it would break the already entered 'burrow' entries, but I can update those 126 records after we change the field value. If no one has a better idea and no one objects, I'll do it in a few days time.

Posted by tony_wills over 4 years ago

"Burrow/den" sounds like an excellent solution.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 4 years ago

Mischief managed

Posted by tony_wills over 4 years ago

@dave_holland has suggested to me that "marine mammal spout", or similar, should be added to "animal sign and song". He notes that some whales and dolphins can be identified by their distinctive spouts. What do you reckon? It makes sense to me. It's analogous to "Call/Song" and "Smell", where the animal is still nearby but not seen. @charlie @tony_wills

Posted by jon_sullivan over 1 year ago

Seems reasonable, but i also wonder if this field is getting so broad as to be difficult to manage. I'm still ok with it

Posted by charlie over 1 year ago

Sounds sensible to me. I also agree with Charlie that the field is a little wayward and could do with some rationalisation, eg fur/feathers, shed skin, and perhaps shell/exoskeleton (in particular molts) are basically all the same type of sign. I suppose it depends on how the field is used in projects as to whether anything can be done.

Posted by tony_wills over 1 year ago

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