Today is the beginning of the City Nature Celebration (originally called the City Nature Challenge) going on through iNaturalist.org, a Citizen Science platform similar to ebird but focused on all organisms rather than birds alone. iNaturalist organizes data and is a great resource for learning about the life around you, from the wildflowers to the beetles to the mushrooms and fish. All of the data is public and easy to search with many filters including time of year, location and a species search that can be as specific as a subspecies or as broad as a Phylum or Kingdom.
This "Bioblitz" was originally meant to be a friendly competition between different cities/areas around the world to see who has the most biodiversity and the most citizen scientists out there ready to document all of these interesting forms of life. Because of Covid-19, the competitive element has been put to the side and the organizers are asking us to focus on our own backyards or neighborhoods, obviously following local ordinances to social distance and stay safe!
In any case, we need your help! Most of the iNaturalist users participating this year will be using their phones to document plants and insects in their backyards but we need photos of birds too! Any photos taken or audio recorded today, Friday, through Monday at 11:59PM will automatically be included in our South Florida City Nature Celebration project to help us see how many wild organisms we can find.
Here is a link to the project so you can see some of the observations posted so far:
Here are our observations of birds so far:
The website is very popular with classrooms so let's help the teachers show their students how many interesting birds and other forms of life we can find right in our neighborhoods!
If you have any questions about how iNaturalist or the City Nature Celebration works, please reply below or you can message me at jmont034 (AT) fiu dot edu
Hope you can all contribute some photos and audio!