Jeremy Hussell

Joined: Nov 11, 2016 Last Active: Jan 21, 2022 iNaturalist

I'm the son of two ornithologists and currently a software developer for Bird Studies Canada in Ontario. I'm using iNaturalist to accelerate my learning. I'm mostly unable to identify observations from outside North America due to lack of knowledge, and I'm not truly confident outside Ontario and the Great Lakes region.

The observation I was making in my profile picture can be seen here (warning for arachnophobes: it's a spider). The observation which is my profile picture can be seen here.

Here's a FAQ entry explaining why basic IDs are helpful. I strongly recommend you put the best ID you can manage on your observations right away, even if that's just "Plant", "Fungi", or "Insect", because many identifiers are specialists who won't spend time searching through uncategorized observations. If you can get it down to order or family, that's even better. But don't stress too much if you can't ID an observation to species yourself: you can learn a lot from identifications by the iNaturalist community. I know I have!

If you're checking my profile to see which species I know a lot about, to help you decide whether you agree with an ID I made or not, I wrote a post about this on the forum.

The "Agree" button is a shortcut to add an identical ID, and that's all it is. It has all the usual effects of adding an identification, including moving observations identified to species out of "Needs ID" and into "Research Grade". The interface design makes it tempting to press the button as a way to acknowledge and/or thank the identifier, so I do understand why it happens so often, but seeing identifications instantly confirmed by an observer makes me sad. (If you were inspired to do a little research and independently confirm an identification of your own observation, thank you, and you can ignore the above. Though if you leave a comment to that effect, it would help put my mind at ease.)

If you don't have the resources and time right now to figure out what similar-looking species exist and how to tell them apart, just be patient and wait for a third person to add an ID. It's better to have an observation waiting for another knowledgeable identifier to review it than to have a misidentified "Research Grade" observation.

If an ID disagrees with yours and you feel you don't know enough to confidently agree or disagree with it, then there are other things you can do besides leaving the disagreement in place or agreeing with the new ID. You can change your ID to a broader taxon (genus instead of species, family instead of genus, etc.), or you can withdraw your ID entirely. On the website withdrawing your ID can be done in the menu opened by clicking the down-pointing arrow in the upper-right corner of your ID. This signals that you don't disagree while leaving the observation in the "Needs ID" pool so another identifier will come along and confirm or correct the ID, and may allow the community ID to move to a narrower taxon, which in turn may bring the observation to the attention of more-specialized identifiers.

I am astonished, humbled, and somewhat baffled by how many strangers have decided to follow my account. All that does is notify you when I post observations. I'm a much less competent observer than I am an identifier, so if you're hoping to see lots of interesting observations you'll likely be disappointed. I observe a variety of taxa, mostly common species, mostly from around my office. My camera isn't the worst, but it definitely could be better. If you're OK with all that, I have no objection to anyone following my account. I just don't want you to be disappointed, and want you to know it won't bother me if you don't care to follow my account or decide to stop following my account.

The people I follow are almost all family, friends, and colleagues.

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