Online Resources for Identifying Plants and Wildlife!

Less than 48 hours away from the start of the Third Annual Merck Forest BioBlitz! As we get closer to the weekend, we’re sharing helpful information and resources for the BioBlitz. Check out this project journal post about the Guided Experiences Schedule for the weekend including nature walks on birds, botany, and more!; and check out this project journal post which goes over the easy process of using Avenza Maps at Merck Forest offline to make sure you always know where you are!

Today’s post is to provide BioBlitzers with some online resources for identifying plants and wildlife found at Merck Forest! The list includes websites and smartphone apps that can be used before, during, or after taking pictures during the BioBlitz weekend. Some of the resources require an active internet connection, while others you can use offline, so be sure to check before you get into the field if you plan on using them!

Every resource mentioned in this post, and more, can be found on this Google Doc.

The top three identification resources recommended by the Merck Forest Conservation Team are:

  1. Plants – GoBotany is a project funded by the National Science Foundation aimed at opening botany, the study of plants, to a “larger and more diverse segment of the population”. The website has a host of identification materials, including a Simple Key and two Advanced ID Tools.

  2. Birds – All About Birds and Merlin Bird ID App are projects funded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with a wealth of information about bird identification, biology, distribution, and much more! All About Birds is the website, and Merlin Bird ID is the app. Merlin functions offline once you download “Bird Packs” for your area, so you can use it in the field!

  3. Mushrooms - US Forest Service: Field Guide to Common Macrofungi in Eastern Forests and Their Ecosystem Functions is a PDF made by the US Forest Service and groups mushrooms and their relatives by the ecosystems they’re found in (Aspen-Birch, Northern Hardwood, Upland Conifer, Lowland Conifer). Paired with our Natural Communities Avenza Map (, you can find a forest community to explore and look at the corresponding section of this PDF!

Check out the Google Doc for more resources!

Identification Resources Google Doc
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page

Posted by maxmiley maxmiley, July 22, 2021 16:16


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