Diario del proyecto City Nature Challenge 2024: Hartford + New Haven counties

Archivos de diario de abril 2024

16 de abril de 2024

Only 10 days until the City Nature Challenge begins!

Hi everyone,

This post is a 10-day reminder that the Hartford/New Haven City Nature Challenge will start in just 10 days! As a reminder, all you need to do to participate in our regional bio-blitz is to go out and make iNaturalist observations, within the Hartford and New Haven County boundaries, during the period of April 26 (Friday) through April 29 (Monday).

We are thrilled to already have 24 people signed up for our project! If you have friends/family/colleagues/neighbors who use iNaturalist, please help us spread the word by sharing the project information and link with them. We also have a folder of resources for posting about the CNC online, printing out a flier, etc: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/4/home

We are also excited to announce that we will have a couple of modest prizes for the top two observers and top two identifiers...stay tuned for details later this week!

Remember, it is not required that users follow our project page - ALL observations made within our project boundaries between 4/26 and 4/29 will count towards our project.

We will also need folks to help with identifying observations! The identification period is longer: you can ID observations up until May 5, 2024. We need people specializing in all forms of life - whether you have an area of expertise, or just a general familiarity with a number of species in our area, we will need your help. You do not need to be located within the project boundaries in order to help identify

Contact us at CNCHartfordNewHaven@gmail.com if you have any questions!

Sarah (@chiforager) + Chase (@hexagonaria)

cc'ing top observers in these counties, but please forward to others who may be interested:

@ainemcmanus, @alextrouern-trend, @ali_n, @altspen, @apgarm, @apocynaceaenow, @arachphotobia, @arobey63, @bafinnan, @bobby23, @bridgetdaly, @catverde, @chiforager, @chrisstlawrence, @cink85, @codylimber, @colivia, @condrus, @cwyse, @davidreik, @debcushman, @df84, @dkaff, @dmantack, @drewdlestrudel, @ericpo1, @getawaygardens, @hexagonaria, @jackie24, @jeweledweevil, @jo1010, @jonathan, @judith300, @kellyfuerstenberg, @kimberlymj, @kristofz, @kwg555, @maddog1066, @msr042377, @pgiguere, @pinesnake, @pliantscience, @rayray, @rebeccagelernter, @rileyghostie, @riverlovesinverts, @rrn, @scmayo, @shin_alpha, @silvercats, @stellathejay, @steve432king, @susantheotter, @tatef, @team_bingebirder, @thebugwhisperer, @william_dornbos

Publicado el 16 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de abril de 2024

Prizes! CNC starts this Friday!

Hey everyone!

We’re very much looking forward to the City Nature Challenge starting THIS Friday! Looks like some great weather in CT for us out there this year. A few new notes about the project:

We’re excited to be able to offer four prizes for our Hartford + New Haven Counties project this year:

  • First place and runner up for most species* observed (April 26 - April 29)
  • First place and runner up for most identifications** completed (April 26 - May 5)
    The prize for each is a one year, household-level membership to Wild Ones (read more about Connecticut’s chapter here): https://mountainlaurel.wildones.org/

Once we kick off on Friday, feel free to tag the project organizers (@hexagonaria and/or @chiforager) with any interesting observations in our counties! Notable observations (rarely seen species, interesting variations, etc.) may be highlighted and shared with the CNC community (see this example from last year: https://ibb.co/pjPdpJm)

Whether you’re shooting for a high number of species and IDs or not, we hope you’re excited about getting out and observing some wildlife this Friday through Monday.
Feel free to comment on this post with any sites you’re planning on visiting.

A warm welcome to new iNaturalist users @zic, @makeupbykristi, @slvdb!

As always, contact us at CNCHartfordNewHaven@gmail.com if you have any questions.

*note that it is number of distinct species, rather than total number of observations
**each individual can only win one prize. In the event the same individual wins both a species and identifications prize, we’ll award the additional prize to the person with the next most species identified.

Publicado el 24 de abril de 2024 por hexagonaria hexagonaria | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de abril de 2024

Day 1 highlights and Day 2 goals!

Hi everyone,

Congratulations on an AWESOME first day of our City Nature Challenge! Nearly 60 people made observations yesterday, with over 280 species observed as of midnight. You all blew our expectations out of the water - thank you so much for your enthusiastic participation!

We are especially excited to see that people are making observations across both counties, including lots of great observations at the shore. Here are just of few of our favorite observations from yesterday:

American Oystercatcher, photographed by @rrn in West Haven:

Osprey, photographed by @scmayo in Madison:

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle, photographed by @snakebird15 in Bloomfield:

Northern Cinnabar Polypore, photographed by @william_dornbos in West Hartford:

And...our most observed species of the day! The Yellow Trout Lily, photographed by @billiam in West Hartford:


  • Reach 65 observers (ask some friends to go out with you today - let's see if we can recruit some more new iNaturalist users!)
  • Surpass 400 species observed
  • Get some fish onto our list of species, as well as some shellfish/shells from the shore, seaweeds, algae, etc.
  • Document some of the common mammals that we're missing: deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, etc.
  • Get some observations in northern Hartford County on our map: Enfield, Granby, Hartland, etc.

Thank you again to everyone who contributed yesterday - we can't wait to see what today brings!

Tagging all contributors: @peakaytea @scmayo @igor_kuzmin @paul_dennehy @bgaudubon @bdrury @chia @crazywolf828 @danielleschwartz @mmmmbugs @chewitt1 @johnkeisers @nasehenry @asio-otus1 @benmeredyk @mpintar @stomlins701 @hcoste @tsn @davidenrique @emmatrue @molsdon @jeleblack @pieceofmind @motmot @harper_j @kellyfuerstenberg @aguilita @hill_jasonm @rayray @roomthily @gzerbe57 @galanhsnu @nycnatureobserver @tim221 @lsueza @tockgoestick @gottafeedmycats @quiltedquetzal @douggoldman @williambee @konrad_k @jackcadwell @larry216 @moritz3 @grigorenko @radoslawpuchalka @don_marotte @ccantley @stephenluk @wildskyflower @suburban_witch @that_bug_guy @azik @aleconinaturalist @kayleenice @phalaropus_ @kaiokennyx20 @octagon

Publicado el 27 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

28 de abril de 2024

Go team Hartford/NewHaven!!

Congratulations to everyone on another day that far exceeded our expectations! When I set a goal for 65 observers today, I definitely underestimated how many more people would be participating on a weekend day - we had DOUBLE the number of observers as yesterday!

We also surpassed our goal of reaching 400 species observed today - as of midnight, we had 461 species! Thank you to @bafinnan and @kellyfuerstenberg for adding our project's first fishes, @scmayo for finding us a chipmunk, and @cecilydyer for adding our first frog!

We'd love to hear from you all about how you found out about the project - we assume that some folks are just regular iNaturalist users who happened to make observations this weekend, but we were also very excited to see that observations are way up from where they were this same weekend last year! So the word must be spreading. Please comment to let us know how you learned about the City Nature Challenge!

Before I get into some pictures from today, I wanted to point out some opportunities to capture more species:

  • We could still really use some pictures of mollusks, seaweeds, and other shoreline creatures in addition to the wonderful variety of birds we're capturing
  • It rained this evening, so we may have a chance at observing some more mushrooms! Remember that with mushrooms, it is often necessary to have pictures not just from the top, but also the underside of the specimen
  • Keep an eye out for spiders - there's lots of arachnids not yet captured in our project!

Chase (@Hexagonaria) and I took a walk today at Sleeping Giant State Park, and were excited to add another kingdom to our project when we observed some slime molds! We'll need help identifying them - please take a look if you have any slime mold expertise:

There are way too many incredible pictures to share here, but here are a few that I was excited to see today:

This breathtaking photo of a Great Egret, captured with its stunning green mating lores by @arachphotobia:

This adorable Northern Parula warbler, captured mid-migration by @abbyks:

The wonderfully weird Juniper Apple Rust fungus - a bane of apple growers, but such a cool organism! (photographed by @scmayo)


Some lovely Bird's Foot Violets, photographed by @jmmusser:

And I know this post is heavy on the birds, but I loved this photo of some jewel-toned Tree Swallows by @codylimber:

Keep up the amazing work everyone, we are so grateful to you for making this first CNC Hartford/New Haven a success!

Publicado el 28 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Milestone: 500 species observed! Plus: tips to help us identify your observations

Good afternoon City Nature Challenge community!

Congratulations on reaching the incredible milestone of 500+ species observed!! That is an incredible accomplishment, and it has really been a joy to watch your observations come in. I have learned about some new species and bird behaviors just from reviewing your pictures and notes!

Tips for more identifiable observations
We are hoping to pinpoint the specific species for as many of our observations as possible. In many cases, this requires multiple pictures of the same organism. Try to document as many characteristics as you can, with pictures from multiple angles.

For plants, take pictures that show the flowers, leaves (tops and bottoms), stems, etc. If you are photographing a tree, try to capture its silhouette, bark, leaves (if present), and any diseased looking parts (pathogens can be clues to what the tree is too!)

For fungi, zoom in as much as possible to provide detail on the color, texture, and shape of pores/gills. For mushrooms, in addition to taking a picture of the top, try to photograph the underside of a mushroom. (Note that picking a mushroom will not kill the organism, as the mushroom is just the visible fruiting body of the fungus.)

For example: the top of this polypore looks like it could be a number of mushrooms:

Looking on the underside gives a lot more clues to what makes it unique:

It can also be helpful to make note of what environment the organism is living. Identifiers may ask you questions about where you saw something - please keep an eye out for their questions.

Prize reminders

As a reminder, we are offering one-year household memberships to Wild Ones (our local Chapter is the Mountain Laurel Chapter) to:

  • The two people who observe the greatest number of unique species (most species observed as opposed to most total observations)
  • The two people who make the most identifications during the ID period of now through May 6 at 9:00 AM EST

@Hexagonaria and I are recusing ourselves from the prizes, since we are the organizers. Each participant can only win one membership, so if someone wins in both categories, the prize will go to the person with the next highest number of species identified.

Enjoy a great afternoon outside, everyone!

Publicado el 28 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de abril de 2024

Sunday wrap-up, and some thank yous as we enter the final stretch!

We hope everyone had a great weekend of exploring and documenting our local wildlife! @Hexagonaria and I headed up to McLean Game Refuge in Granby today to add some more observations in the northernmost part of Hartford County, it was our first time visiting that location and it was really beautiful. Can't wait to go back, we didn't make it all that far because we were taking so many pictures!

As of 11:00 PM we are at 661 species - we are catching up to some of the more established City Nature Challenges in our area, like CNC Fairfield/Westchester and CNC Western Mass!

Special thanks to @kellyfuerstenberg, @scmayo, @arobey63 and @codylimber for responding to some of the suggestions we made yesterday and taking photos of mollusks, seaweed, etc. down at the shore - that really helped boost our species count, including a number of observations in the Chromista Kingdom.

Is it just me or does it look like these periwinkles from @scmayo are snuggling? :)

We're so happy that a couple of groundhogs made it onto our project today - Chase and I have one living under an old shed in our yard, and we've been patiently waiting for it to make an appearance this weekend to no avail. Our project wouldn't be complete without a groundhog - here's one photographed by @arobey63 today in Milford:

@Arobey63 also boosted our mammal count with a muskrat!

It was also another great day for birds, with several new species added to the project and many more beautiful photos taken. Owls are now represented with this Eastern Screech Owl observed by @codylimber:

@august2fly captured this Lapland Longspur, also a new species for our project:

@sara_fagan brought our amphibian count up to 8 with a Wood Frog observed in Bethany:

We are still learning about new plants all the time as we encounter plants that we didn't have in the midwest. For example, I didn't know about the bright and delicate Fringed Polygala, observed today by @arobey63:

There were also a few observations that I'm thrilled to have in our project, but also thrilled that I didn't personally encounter myself, like this Black-and-Gold Flat Millipede (seen by @kellyfuerstenberg, who got closer than I would have been able to!):

There are so many amazing organisms that you all have captured, I know you all will enjoy looking through them all during the identification phase of the City Nature Challenge (continuing through 9AM EST on May 6). For now, I will leave you with my most interesting (and smelliest) observation of the day - bacteria from the genus Leptothrix, which produce an orange slime (ferrihydrite) and rainbow-colored films sometimes mistaken for oil spills. More about this here: https://www.austintexas.gov/blog/gooey-slimy-colorful-what-can-it-possibly-be

Tomorrow is our last day for observations, so if you are able to get outside on a Monday and make a few observations, we may just surpass 700 species!! Fantastic work everyone,

-Sarah (@chiforager) and Chase (@hexagonaria)

Publicado el 29 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

New milestone (700 species observed!) + a few ideas for the rest of our final day

Good afternoon everyone - I just hopped on our project page while listening to a meeting for work, and saw that we have observed exactly 700 species!! Congratulations on reaching another amazing milestone!

I have been keeping an eye on observations as they come in, and thinking about what we're missing and how we might squeeze in a few more species before the end of the day. I thought I'd float a couple more ideas in case anyone out there doesn't have to work today and has the ability to move around:

1) So far we don't have a beaver documented - I know it isn't easy to catch a beaver, but they do leave lots of evidence of their presence behind! If anyone knows of a lodge/dam or even a tree that has been obviously chewed by a beaver, that would be sufficient to include the species on our project.

2) There are lots of springtime mushrooms that haven't appeared yet - we don't have a lot of control over the precise conditions that bring mushrooms, but if anyone knows of a great mushroom-hunting location, please reply to this post and put it in the comments as a suggestion for someone's afternoon hike! Splitgills, witch's butter, orange jelly spot, oyster mushrooms, inkcap species and barometer earthstars are a few examples of mushrooms we don't have yet that people have observed in our area in previous Aprils.

3) Pests and home-dwelling insects count too - my coworker made a joke about taking pictures of rats, cockroaches and bedbugs in Chicago, which got me thinking that we don't have any of those yet! This is, of course, a good thing but I thought I'd mention that these species are all eligible if you are unfortunate to encounter them!!

4) Don't forget about pathogens - if you see a plant disease or fungal infection, we want to see that too! Oftentimes the weird spots and growths on leaves or bark are evidence of entirely separate species - here are a couple examples from yesterday:

Mountain laurel leaf spot fungus:

Black knot fungus (grows on prunus species):

There are also lots of tiny insects who create galls on plants:

Goldenrod gall fly:

We're in the home stretch now, everyone - we look forward to seeing our final count!

Publicado el 29 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de abril de 2024

That's a wrap! 820 species, 2,855 observations, 253 observers!!

Congratulations everyone on a fabulously successful first City Nature Challenge! Thanks especially to the die-hards who submitted new observations right up until midnight - you helped us break the 800 species threshold in the final hour of our challenge.

We'll write a longer post with some highlights from our final day, as well as information on the identification phase, tomorrow - for now I just wanted to say thank you for a remarkable four days, I learned so much from your observations and I know many others will too.

Get some well-deserved rest, and we'll be back in touch tomorrow!

With gratitude,

Sarah (@chiforager) and Chase (@hexagonaria)

Publicado el 30 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

The identification phase begins...and there's still time to upload observations from April 26-29!

Hi all, thanks again for your wonderful contributions to our City Nature Challenge project. I didn't realize it last night, but it looks like the CNC organizers are still allowing observations made between April 26 and 29 to be uploaded - our species tally is now at just under 900!!

We know that some of you still have observations to upload, so this is good news. Please just make sure to follow the honor system and only upload photos taken during the official observation period of April 26 - 29.

We had quite a number of moth and insect observations come in last night from iNaturalist user @rayray - these are definitely worth a look. I had no idea the diversity of moths that we have in this area. Here are just a few that I found especially charismatic:

Straight-lined plagodis moth

Yellow-veined geometer moth

Arched hooktip moth

@rayray, maybe next year you can teach some of us how you attract and document all these nighttime visitors!

On to the identification phase
We are now in the Identification phase of the project - that means we need your expertise to help positively identify our more than 3,000 observations. If you have a specific area of expertise - birds, fungi, insects, etc., you can visit our project page and use the filters to show you just the observations in your desired categories. Then, you can look at individual observations and either agree with the observer's identification, or suggest an alternate ID.

If anyone would like to help identify observations but isn't sure how to do so, please respond to this post so I can help you.

Our goal is to get as many of our observations as we can to "research grade" status. In some cases, it may not be possible to narrow an observation all the way down to the species level - but it is still helpful to narrow things down as much as possible. For example, if someone has an observation that is still tagged as "unknown", and you know it is a plant, you can simply suggest the ID "Plants". That will cue some of our plant experts to weigh in.

Typically, in my experience, birds and mammals are confirmed the fastest, followed by plants, followed by everything else. We will need extra help ID'ing the "everything else" - so if you know anyone with expertise, please invite them to our project, and to iNaturalist if they aren't already on the app!

One way to get an ID on your observation faster is to look at the iNaturalist page for the suspected species, and tag the top observers and identifiers. To tag someone, simply make a comment on the post with your question, and tag them using the @ symbol, followed by the username (i.e. @chiforager).

Identifying may not be quite as exciting as making observations, but it is an essential part of our project and a great way to contribute! Thanks in advance for your assistance with this phase,

P.S.: I'm tagging all project contributors with at least one research-grade observation here, so that everyone knows about the ID phase.

@kellyfuerstenberg, @suehallam, @mcjamjam, @sarah190, @mary_vrp, @doc1790, @sarah4035, @wachta, @tiffanybwood, @william_dornbos, @magnerin, @rrn, @makeupbykristi, @chiforager, @audrey327, @evitols, @rayray, @teetee-mcgee, @amlisi, @k10d, @ezt, @kwg555, @sarahwall99, @hexagonaria, @unbridleddiscoveries, @kausha, @lis220, @jennywebs, @jonathan42300, @salix_scott, @nanbarto, @lukas3291, @cwyse, @scmayo, @aquarius98, @arachphotobia, @snakebird15, @ipsumo, @billiam, @yxlin, @arobey63, @emschumann, @dwtrapnell, @cecilydyer, @khopemartin, @abugail, @rileyghostie, @blovelandsennett, @hodag, @maddog1066, @flowergirl1515, @cescabis, @johnoverhiserjr, @wesley_j, @son_of_wasps, @jessbu, @jenkatja, @eikenella, @bafinnan, @ecowill, @bobby23, @melissaandjim, @kathrond, @the3foragers, @codylimber, @taah, @themicrocosmos, @mee910, @sam2044, @dirtwizzard, @danab, @fleischosapien, @mkromidas, @carina69337, @labdean, @abbyks, @davidreik, @jmmusser, @sushi_lovers_vt, @jlazor, @seanmorley15, @alextrouern-trend, @cat2953, @shin_alpha, @jessie92, @nofahz, @ketki7, @tim221, @sodistractable, @august2fly, @mollyzahn, @wawa77, @jill71333, @barb_lr, @calaise, @sara_fagan, @alexnovarro, @cichlidmike, @bonniezac, @clshafer, @jeffhoyt01, @cswood, @jacobsona727, @christinarnini, @corrief, @brandonhenry27, @irish_folds, @lucyhardee, @jmhtex, @corpdronemetal, @atdest, @silvercats, @shannon17352, @reeconn, @seanstoessel, @rebeccagelernter, @penzy98, @ajfeld, @kimberlymj, @okapimykapi, @samsmithonearth, @riley05401, @albert384, @jackie24, @tacimat, @kathryn_langlois, @mrbirder98, @condrus, @kristofz, @jmvanel, @mswomley, @gage98, @ellalavender, @mkollen, @sycamore_lover, @rferdinand, @elleryneiderer, @alex_lin-moore, @bellemarematt, @ericpo1, @dami_203, @uvm1978, @dbenoit888, @jongorham, @apocynaceaenow, @breezy1125, @jonathan, @jscanio, @watchmewatchthem, @charliebrowncb5

Publicado el 30 de abril de 2024 por chiforager chiforager | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario