Archivos de diario de marzo 2021

17 de marzo de 2021

Longing to help out but not near a CNC survey area - we have got you covered!

There's a lot of territory out there and your best place to be between April 30 and May 3 might not coincide with a 2021 City Nature Challenge study area. The global organizers have got your back.

A new project has been established - City Nature Challenge 2021: Global Project - for all those observers who would like to contribute but are in Thompson or Brandon; Riding Mountain National Park or Wapusk National Park, Pinawa or Emerson - or anywhere at all on earth not included in one of the established CNC survey areas on the four days in question.

If this sounds like you, click on the link >> https://inaturalist.ca/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-global-project and use the 'Join' button to sign up. This project has been set to collect observations from its members during the 4 days of the event. For the regular City Nature Challenges, your observations inside the survey area will be collected regardless of whether or not you are a member of the project.

If you know someone who might be interested, feel free to encourage them to participate. Everyone is welcome !

Mary Krieger

Ingresado el 17 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de marzo de 2021

37 days to go - Time to highlight Winnipeg Center South observations

Those of you who have already looked at the survey area map on the project page may have noticed a certain blocky quality to the boundaries. Each square represents a single grid square in the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate system. A single grid square is big enough to give observers variety but small enough to feel neighbourly. There are 36 squares making up our survey area - so lets see if I can manage to introduce you all to all of them before the event begins.

Our first grid square is Winnipeg Center South 14PA32. The square stretches from Point Douglas in the north to Bishop Grandin in the south; from just inside Lagimodière on the east to the old West End and River Heights on the west; all entirely within the urban area of Winnipeg. The Red River meanders south to north through the center of the square, meeting the Assiniboine River arriving from the west at the Forks. The Seine River meanders north along the eastern section until it meets the Red near its northern boundary. These three watercourses provide natural highways for many organisms not usually found on city streets. Public parks in this area including St. Vital Park, Crescent Drive Park, Whittier Park and Lagimodière-Gaboury. Here you will find many organisms large and small that prefer wooded surroundings and don't mind the nearby city activity.

As of today, over ten thousand observations have been located within this grid square thanks to the efforts of @seraphinpoudrier , @mamestraconfigurata and 649 others. More than 1,289 species have been identified, the majority (480 species) are insects, with plants (476 species) a close second. In March and April, migration is in full swing as many birds return from warmer latitudes on their way to their nesting grounds. Trees and shrubs are leafing out while forest floor plants rush into bloom before the tree canopy fills in. Butterflies that over-wintered as adults become active and ant colonies resume their patrols.

Observing for iNaturalist in an urban environment requires an extra step. iNaturalist is happy to take all our observations but if the organism observed is not wild it needs to be marked as captive/cultivated. This helps those who are using the data for their research sort out those observations that are of organisms that made their own way to the location from those which were put there by humans.

Ingresado el 24 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

36 and counting - Winnipeg West 14PA22

Winnipeg West 14PA22 in the west part of Winnipeg, immediately adjacent to our previous highlighted square. The Assiniboine River flows from west to east through the survey area and creating a wildlife corridor between the city centre and the surrounding area. Sturgeon Creek, and the smaller Omands Creek and Truro Creek flow into the Assiniboine from the north. Public parks in this area include:

At the time of this posting, 5,022 observations have been added from within this area by 508 observers led by @seraphinpoudrier . 984 species are represented, the majority of which are plants (395 species) with insects (296 species) in second place. The most frequently observed organism is the Canada Goose with 68 observations in the area.

The end of April and beginning of May is when our provincial flower, the Prairie crocus, blooms. As we are experiencing an early spring, you may be able to get your crocus observations in early this year. At the Living Prairie Museum, staff update the museum Facebook page when the first flowers appear. When you are checking out the crocus, look nearby for the tiny yellow Prairie Buttercup that blooms at the same time and in the same habitats. No observation for this species has yet been added for this square yet but I know that it grows there - so you could be the first observer! The spring chorus of frogs will likely be going - it can be difficult to photograph these - you might consider experimenting with collecting sound observations of their calls. Here's a couple of helpful links.

Ingresado el 24 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

30 de marzo de 2021

30 days! Two squares today - Grande Pointe 14PA41 & Saint Germain 14PA31

Yesterdays balmy temperatures stole me away to Pinawa -- so today we catch up!


Grande Pointe 14PA41 is shared by the City of Winnipeg and the neighbouring RM of Springfield, RM of Taché and RM of Ritchot. The Floodway runs across the northwest corner. The Seine River meanders through the square from east to west intersecting with the floodway via the Red River Floodway Siphon. Agriculture dominates the land use in this square. The land being very flat and somewhat poorly drained, a network of ditches and drainage channels has been constructed.

At the time of posting, 16 observations had been uploaded by 13 observers including @nadeaujp, and @emilythor . 14 species have been identified so far--plants (9 species) in the lead, with birds (3) next in line. Lots of room to add new species in this square!


Saint Germain 14PA31 is shared by the City of Winnipeg and the neighbouring RM of Ritchot. The Red River flows north through the square with the Floodway branching to the north east near its center. The La Salle River meanders up from the south west corner to meet with the Red. Parks in this area include Maple Grove Park, Kings Park, Henteleff Park and St Norbert Provincial Park.

At the time of posting, 1,831 observations had been uploaded by 240 observers led @seraphinpoudrier . 572 species have been identified so far--plants (215 species) in the lead, with insects (167) next in line. Most frequently observed are Red Osier Dogwood (26), Manitoba Maple (23) and Canada Goose (17)

Ingresado el 30 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de marzo de 2021

33 days - Garven 14PA43, eskers and the floodway

Garven 14PA43 is shared by the City of Winnipeg and the neighbouring East St Paul and RM of Springfield. The Floodway cuts the square in two east west sections. Large esker ridges quarried for gravel and sand are located in this square . Parks in this area include Transcona Bio-reserve, Kilcona Park (Harbourview), George Olive Nature Park and Silver Springs Park.

At the time of posting, 899 observations had been uploaded by 82 observers led by @seraphinpoudrier and @carolannvermeer. 309 species have been identified so far--plants (143 species) in the lead, with insects (65) and birds (64) next in line. The most frequently observed organism is the Canada Thistle (20) followed by Red Osier Dogwood (16) and Willow Pinecone Gall Midge (16).

There were a group of questions asked at a recent virtual presentation on INaturalist which ran along the lines of what sorts of things is iNaturalist looking for in an observation. Are observations of tracks and scat wanted? Does the organism have to be alive? What if the photograph is not very good?

One of the things that I like best about iNaturalist is that it does not have a research agenda. As long as the organism is 'wild' - and the image shows 'evidence' of the organism then the observation is appropriate to be included in the database. There is discussion about what is exactly is meant by wild - the short summary is your pet and your potted plant are definitely not wild but there is no hard agreement about where exactly the line is beyond that :).

I find the ability to store up the history of my observations in an easily accessible form online, with support from a community of people of varying expertise but the same interest in the natural world combined with the constantly updated scientific names exactly hits the sweet spot for me. I get to choose what I feel I want to observe and when I want to do it - I can help add observations to contribute to others research goals - like the scientist that is looking for fungi on horsetails ( i haven't seen any yet) or I can pursue my own goals - like trying to learn to identify at least one other willow this year.

Hope that you too enjoy iNat in the way that you like the best!

Ingresado el 27 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de marzo de 2021

35 days and a square full of potential -- Bergen 14PA23

Bergen 14PA23 lies immediately to the north of our previous square, overlapping the boundary between the City of Winnipeg and the RM of Rosser. A much more varied human altered landscape is found here; agricultural cropland, industrial areas, suburban development. The James Richardson airport airfield is located on the southern boundary. The only large park in this square is Little Mountain Park.

At the time of posting, 165 observations have been added in this area by 44 observers led by an active user of iNaturalist based in the Toronto area, a visitor to the area a few years ago. 118 species are represented, plants (56 species) and insects (41 species) in the lead.

There is a lot more potential here to be explored. While some species may be more of a challenge to find, there are still easy ones to add like Trembling Aspen and Bur oak. These two trees should be found throughout the square, where ever there is a patch of bush. Every individual tree is an opportunity to check for squirrels, birds, galls, lichens and mosses - all the organisms that depend on trees for food and shelter.

A cluster of observations is building up around the campus of the Red River College and the adjacent wooded cemeteries. Omand's Creek winds through this area on its way to the Assiniboine River. With only 13 observations of 9 bird species in the entire square, there is much potential for observers in this area to add observations of migrants and returning residents.

Little Mountain is a mixed use park combining the off-leash dog park use with areas of aspen parkland and native prairie. A plant species list for Little Mountain Park and last updated in 2009 shows 214 species including the Manitoba provincial flower, the Prairie Crocus.

Another fertile option for investigation is the right of way beside the railway line that runs from Winnipeg to Grosse Isle, the one that the Prairie Dog Central operates on. In many cases, land for rail lines was set aside in Manitoba before any agricultural use disturbed the native plant communities. Small pockets of native prairie plants can often still be found along them.

Filling in the blanks in this grid square helps give a better understanding of the entire Winnipeg region. Finding something special where others have not yet looked is always an exciting moment. As John Keats writes "Then felt I like some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken."

No matter where you look for observations--please be respectful of both the natural and human environment. Some forethought and an optimistic outlook can make a huge difference. Happy discoveries!

Ingresado el 25 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de marzo de 2021

34 days to go - Winnipeg North

Winnipeg North 14PA33 is shared by the City of Winnipeg and the neighbouring RM of Rosser, West St Paul and East St Paul. The Red River dominates the eastern half of this square with Bunn's Creek entering it from the east in the north east quadrant. Parks in this area include Kildonan Park, Northeast Pioneers Greenway and Bunn's Creek.

At the time of posting, 2,851 observations had been uploaded by 222 observers led by @carolannvermeer and @seraphinpoudrier. 765 species have been identified so far-- insects (281 species) edge out plants(259 species) for the lead. The most frequently observed organism is the Monarch butterfly (46) followed by three birds Mallard (34), Downy Woodpecker (33) and Wood duck (30).

The mature deciduous trees found in this square both in the parks and long the rivers and planted as boulevard trees are home to the two species of tree-dwelling squirrels found in Winnipeg - the American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and the Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). here's a link that shows all these observations at once. I find that looking at so many images of the same organism really helps hone my identification skills. Using the field guides, I can read that red squirrels are smaller than greys, and that greys may show some reddish underneath but are primarily grey and reds are red above and white underneath - but scanning over the nearly thirty images collected so far, I can test my ids against those made by others in the community.

There is still plenty of room for more squirrel pictures in iNaturalist - from this square and from anywhere. Adding picture of common species has a real benefit - both observers and identifiers gain experience with the common so that they are better able to recognize and record evidence for the less common and perhaps more unique organisms in our surroundings. See if you can spot the unusual individual in this group of observations. :)


Ingresado el 26 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de marzo de 2021

32 days - Lyncrest 14PA42 and observation locations

Lyncrest 14PA42 is shared by the City of Winnipeg and the neighbouring RM of Springfield. The Floodway runs north and south in the eastern portion, while the western margin includes the rail yards and related industrial areas to the north and the residential development of Sage Gardens to the south. Parks in this area include Buhler Recreation Park, and Rotary Prairie.

At the time of posting, 1,598 observations had been uploaded by 72 observers led by @seraphinpoudrier and @richardjbuist . 414 species have been identified so far--plants (218 species) in the lead, with insects (105) next in line. The most frequently observed organism is the Canada Thistle (35) followed by Canada Goldenrod (34) and Red Osier Dogwood (26).

Each observation in iNaturalist is made up of three parts - the 'evidence' (usually one or more digital images), the date (and possibly the time) that the observation occurred, and the place. Today I want to talk about the place part. The place data has four components - the lat/long coordinates, the accuracy circle, the description and the geoprivacy setting.

In Manitoba, the lat long coordinates specify the point on the surface of the planet by measuring how far west of the prime meridian and how far north of the equator. As you upload your observations, it can be useful to keep an eye on the coordinates assigned automatically by your device - sometimes it can be a little off. Easy enough to correct either during the upload process or by editing the observation later.

The accuracy circle gives an idea of how sure the observer is that the coordinates are accurate. Sometimes an observation will be assigned a very large accuracy circle - I have seen them large enough to cover the entire continent of North America. Usually it is best to use something more realistic.

The description is usually automatically assigned based on the coordinates provided using data from the mapping software. If the description seems off to you - like if you were in Assiniboine Forest and the auto entry describes it as Assiniboine Park, you can just edit that part of the place data.

The geoprivacy setting is used to control how the place data is accessed by others using the iNaturalist data. It has three settings - Open (everyone can see), Obscured (everyone can see an obscured version of the location) and Private (only trusted can see the location). The locations of some organisms are always obscured to help protect them from disturbance and cannot be cannot changed to another setting. Otherwise observations are set to open by default. Observers can change the geoprivacy settings on their own observations and will always be able to see the locations of their own observations no matter what the geoprivacy setting. Here's the official explanation of these settings.

Ingresado el 29 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de marzo de 2021

29 days - a closer look at Oak Bluff 14PA21

Oak Bluff 14PA21 is shared by the City of Winnipeg and the neighbouring RM of Macdonald and RM of Ritchot. The square is dominated by agricultural use, generally flat topography with constructed ditches and drainage channels. Whyte Ridge, Waverley West and Oak Bluff are located here. The square includes the most southern part of FortWhyte Alive.

At the time of posting, 240 observations had been uploaded by 68 observers led by @ericjols . 151 species have been identified so far--plants (57 species) in the lead, with birds (52) next in line. The most frequently observed organism is the Painted turtle (12) followed by Mallard, Canada Goose and Whitetail Deer, each with 6. A good base has been laid but plenty of room here for adding species - as well as more observations of species identified here already.

iNaturalist checklists can be used to help give an idea of what species are found in a particular location - here is the checklist for Manitoba. At the time of posting, 2829 species of 8284 possible species are listed as confirmed - that is there is at least one observation of the species in Manitoba that is research grade.

When you are using the Compare feature on the website, you can switch the list to checklist and the territory to Manitoba so that the organisms that you are comparing your observation to are the ones thought to be resident here.

As the number of of observations in Canada overall is still quite low compared to the number of observations from the United States, the computer vision suggestions can sometime be tilted towards species that look similar to ones that are found here but that only occur much further south. Comparing to the checklist can help you identify when you are proposing an identification that is of a species that is not yet known from Manitoba. You can then take extra care to check the field marks for your observation.

Happy exploring!

Ingresado el 31 de marzo de 2021 por marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario