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

Datatype: text
Allowed values:
None Recorded 2836
Tracks 9138
Scat 3820
Remains 984
Call/Song 910
Evidence of Feeding 1631
Evidence of Egg Laying 221
Smell 10
Scratching/Scent Post 175
Nest 690
Burrow/Den 294
Web 24
Fur/Feathers 420
Shell/Exoskeleton 453
Shed skin 27
Window print 12
View All
Created by: charlie charlie
Values:

Observations specifying this field

Observation Animal Sign and Song

Photos / Sounds

What

Dama Wallaby Macropus eugenii

Observer

rubecula

Date

June 12, 2021 01:38 PM NZST
Tracks

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Western Ratsnake Pantherophis obsoletus

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 9, 2021 06:33 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Black-tailed Jackrabbit Lepus californicus

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 11, 2021 10:44 AM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 10, 2021 08:11 AM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Rainbow Scarab Phanaeus vindex

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 11, 2021 01:07 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 11, 2021 12:58 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 10, 2021 12:03 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 10, 2021 09:03 AM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Spotted Horse Mint Monarda punctata

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 9, 2021 03:56 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Pondhawk Erythemis simplicicollis

Observer

rcdowler

Date

June 9, 2021 01:52 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Typical Herons and Egrets Subfamily Ardeinae

Observer

cynestor

Date

May 27, 2021 04:00 PM PDT

Description

Several Ficus microcarpa trees had adults and juveniles, making quite a mess of cars seeking a little shade. Couldn't get a decent photo without zoom.

Call/Song

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

andrew_austin

Date

June 6, 2021 05:03 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Marsh Crayfish Procambarus hinei

Observer

andrew_austin

Date

June 8, 2021 03:06 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Digger Crayfish Creaserinus fodiens

Observer

andrew_austin

Date

June 8, 2021 03:10 PM UTC
None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Swamp Dwarf Crayfish Cambarellus puer

Observer

andrew_austin

Date

June 8, 2021 03:07 PM UTC

Description

Adult with larva

None Recorded

Photos / Sounds

What

Marsh Crayfish Procambarus hinei

Observer

andrew_austin

Date

June 8, 2021 03:19 PM UTC
None Recorded
Mammals

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Mammals Class Mammalia

Observer

hobofreeman

Date

June 2, 2021 12:01 PM EDT
Tracks

Photos / Sounds

What

Leaf-miner Flies Family Agromyzidae

Observer

chogbog

Date

June 4, 2021 09:33 AM EDT
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Suids Family Suidae

Observer

chogbog

Date

June 4, 2021 07:33 AM EDT
Evidence of Feeding
Insects

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Insects Class Insecta

Observer

chogbog

Date

June 3, 2021 12:21 PM EDT
Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

North Island Lacebark Hoheria populnea

Observer

nick_allen

Date

June 1, 2021 12:30 PM NZST
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno

Observer

chogbog

Date

June 3, 2021 09:53 AM EDT

Place

Costa Rica (Google, OSM)
Nest

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Suids Family Suidae

Observer

chogbog

Date

June 3, 2021 08:52 AM EDT
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Stingless Bees Tribe Meliponini

Observer

chogbog

Date

June 3, 2021 10:23 PM EDT
Nest

Photos / Sounds

What

Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi

Observer

lschwartzkopf

Date

June 2, 2021 04:03 PM PDT

Description

We were hiking back from Haddock Mtn and heard this sweet little call. Never saw the bird despite looking for it for 10+ minutes.

Call/Song

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

faithc

Date

May 11, 2021 10:25 AM NZST
Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Spiders Order Araneae

Observer

faithc

Date

May 11, 2021 10:48 AM NZST
Evidence of Egg Laying

Photos / Sounds

What

American Black Bear Ursus americanus

Observer

dpsiminski

Date

June 2, 2021 06:40 AM MST

Description

Tracks along one trail. Coin 24mm diameter. Guindani Canyon. Whetstone Mountains, Coronado National Forest.

Tracks

Photos / Sounds

What

Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus

Observer

tony_wills

Date

June 2, 2021 11:54 AM NZST

Description

I think a rat has got trapped in this compost barrel and is trying to chew its way out

Evidence of Feeding

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Little Penguin Eudyptula minor

Observer

ingerp

Date

June 1, 2021 09:14 AM NZST

Description

Track

Tracks
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Comments

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

Posted by jon_sullivan almost 8 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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That might be useful, especially when its a loose feather rather than part of a carcass.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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How about changing Nest to Nest/Burrow? Or something that would cover a wide range of animals.

Posted by tony_wills over 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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added, hopefully it will become the default

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks :-)

Posted by tony_wills over 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 6 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 5 years ago (Flag)
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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 over 3 years ago (Flag)
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That will be useful.

Posted by tony_wills over 3 years ago (Flag)
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@jon_sullivan: I suppose we should use that for empty bird eggshells too eg /observations/1181749

Posted by tony_wills over 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 over 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 over 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 over 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 over 3 years ago (Flag)
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ha, indeed. Though the lack of sleep has more to do with toddler teething than iNaturalist...

Posted by charlie over 3 years ago (Flag)
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Ahh, reminds me of another animal sign - discarded teeth :-)

Posted by tony_wills over 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 over 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 3 years ago (Flag)
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@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 3 years ago (Flag)
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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 1 year ago (Flag)
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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 1 year ago (Flag)
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Would "burrow" or "nest" work?

Posted by star3 over 1 year ago (Flag)
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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 1 year ago (Flag)
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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 1 year ago (Flag)
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@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 1 year ago (Flag)
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Perhaps we should change "Burrow" to "Burrow/Den"

Posted by tony_wills over 1 year ago (Flag)
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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 1 year ago (Flag)
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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 1 year ago (Flag)
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"Burrow/den" sounds like an excellent solution.

Posted by jon_sullivan over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Mischief managed

Posted by tony_wills over 1 year ago (Flag)

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