3 weeks (21 days), a look at Cooks Creek 14PA54, and observing the familiar and the new

Cooks Creek 14PA54 is shared betwen the RM of St. Clement and the RM of Springfield. Cooks Creek flows from south to north through the square on its way to the Red River. The western portion of Birds Hill Provincial Park is located in the west half. The Manitoba Bird Atlas listed the habitats in 2014 as Young broadleaf forest, Mature broadleaf forest, Mature coniferous forest, Mature mixed forest:, Open Wetland, Agriculture / open country and urban.

At the time of posting, 3,669 observations had been uploaded by 138 observers. 692 species have been identified here, including 319 plants, 148 insects and 112 birds. The most frequently observed species is the Black-capped Chickadee with 95 observations. Bur Oak and Trembling Aspen are tied for second with 57 observations each. The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas found that 70 species of birds were confirmed breeding in this square, with another 53 species possible and probable. Here's the full list.

The things you see, hear and smell at the moment of observation become the data that can be linked to our collective knowledge and producing an identification. The stuff that gets later uploaded to iNat is the evidence of your experience. A better observation experience for you is more likely to lead to an identification. Take your time; enjoy yourself!

You may be very familiar with some things that you see - you can recognize them immediately and know their name without any hesitation. For these organisms, you probably know what needs to be in the stuff you upload to help others confirm your id. Things that don't fit in the image (or recording) can be described in the description field. Just check when you add the name during your upload, that you have the right organism. We all know situations where similar names can be confusing when you are in the midst of uploading your day's haul.

What to do then when you have no clue what the organism might be... The first thing is to gather as much evidence as practical while you and the organism are still in the same place at the same time.

If the organism is stationary and unaffected by your presence (like a tree or a moss) take pictures of the whole thing, and then pictures of the major parts like leaves or flowers. If the organism is really small, then use the closeup or macro features to get more details. Check for any smells - or textures like stickiness that seem distinctive.

If your approach causes the organism to change its behaviour, then keep your distance. Use telephoto features to zoom in without disturbing the organism. Note the surroundings and behaviour details to be added to the description when you upload your images. If the organism left traces like tracks or scat then photograph that too. The Audubon Society has great resources on recommended ethical practices. Remember that you can obscure the location of your observation to reduce repeated disturbance for organisms that are tied to a location like a nest or roost.

When you upload your unnamed organism, you can choose to identify it as a member of a large group rather than a single species. The top level of the taxonomic tree are the kingdoms. Here are the ones in iNat at the time of this post together with the observation and species count to date for Manitoba...

  1. Animals:45,222 observations of 2,599 species
  2. Plants:38,599 observations of 1,447 species
  3. Fungi: 5,093 observations of 405 species
  4. Kelp, Diatoms, and Allies: 10 observations of 3 species
  5. Protozoans: 113 observations of 13 species

As you gain experience with more organisms, you will be able to confidently assign your observations to the smaller groups within the kingdoms. You are probably already able to tell if it is a bird even if you are brand new to identification.

Happy spring observing!

Publicado por marykrieger marykrieger, 8 de abril de 2021 15:10

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