Spring BioBlitz! OK – April 22-29
Being part of BioBlitz! OK means you will become a community scientist! As a scientist, you will contribute data to our BioBlitz! OK inventory through the iNaturalist, eBird, and Budburst.
Use iNaturalist for all species that you have a photograph for or a sound recording.
For bird observations we encourage you to use eBird because it doesn’t require you to submit a photograph or audio file.
- DO photograph weeds: Weeds are both wild and always nearby. Take a step outside and find something growing in the cracks of the sidewalk, or a leaf that’s fallen to the ground.
- DO photograph hands: There’s always a Homo sapiens nearby and their hands are instantly recognizable to species.
- DON’T photograph pets, house plants, or garden plants.
- DON’T photograph people’s faces: Especially when kids are involved. iNaturalist is completely public, so please ensure that you and your students respect each others’ privacy.
- DON’T upload other people’s photos: Photos should be taken by the observer of the actual specimen observed at that time and place. Uploading photos taken by others also usually violates United States copyright law and iNaturalist’s Terms of Service.
- Take identifiable photos: Photos of distant trees or speck-like birds will not garner much attention because they’re usually hard to identify, so make sure you show your students how to fill the frame with your subject, perhaps using the phone or camera’s zoom. Because smartphone cameras are designed primarily for photographing humans and landscapes (and, apparently, food), taking an in-focus photo of an insect or a plant is actually quite difficult. Using your hand to hold a flower or plant still can be helpful, but make sure the plant is not dangerous. You might look up how to use various features (focusing, point focusing, light level adjustment, etc.) of a smartphone camera to get good photos.
- Take multiple photos: Many organisms, particularly plants and insects, cannot be identified to species from a single photo. Take multiple photos from different angles (top, bottom, side, front, back), and/or photos showing different features of the organism. For plants it’s especially important to take pictures of flowers or fruit. Photos of flowers or fruit AND leaves are the most helpful. Be sure to add multiple photos of the same organism to the same observation.
- Focus on wild organisms: Beginners tend to focus on the cultivated plants and animals they can find near their home. But for BioBlitz! OK 2020 we want natural diversity. This means wild organisms, so save your garden and pet photos for Instagram!
Record your observations in eBird. Create a checklist of all the birds you observed during our inventory period.
After entering all your bird data, share your list within eBird with “BioBlitz! OK” to be added to the inventory.
Any questions, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers a free online course that will get you up to speed on using eBird. The eBird community gathers more than 100 million bird sightings each year from people like you. Providing a powerful tool for motivated bird enthusiasts everywhere, eBird helps you find more birds and keep track of your sightings. Collectively, these sightings are now empowering a global scientific community and helping answer pressing conservation questions. Full of video tutorials, this course will get you ready to confidently store and share your sightings with eBird.
The online course is set up in 5 easy lessons that can be completed in about three hours.
iNaturalist Intro Video
iNaturalist provides a place to record and organize nature findings, meet other nature enthusiasts, and learn about the natural world. It encourages the participation of a wide variety of nature enthusiasts, including, but not exclusive to, hikers, hunters, birders, beach combers, mushroom foragers, park rangers, ecologists, and fishermen. Through connecting these different perceptions and expertise of the natural world, iNaturalist hopes to create extensive community awareness of local biodiversity and promote further exploration of local environments.
eBird Intro Video
eBird is among the world’s largest biodiversity-related science projects, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed annually by eBirders around the world and an average participation growth rate of approximately 20% year over year. A collaborative enterprise with hundreds of partner organizations, thousands of regional experts, and hundreds of thousands of users, eBird is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.