Illinois Botanists Big Year 2020's Journal

January 16, 2021

Illinois Botanists Big Year 2020 Results!



And the winner is...
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Abel Kinser (@abelkinser) with 978 species!

As of 16 January 2021, @abelkinser had 1,301 Research Grade observations of 978 species for 2020. Congrats!

2020 Illinois Botanists Big Year Stats

5,930 observers
75,280 Research Grade observations of plants - 33% by people who had joined the project
2,000 species
1,960 identifiers

The Illinois Botanists Big Year is an annual friendly competition of the Illinois Native Plant Society to see how many species you can find in a single year in Illinois. The main goals of the project are to spark discovery in people of any age and experience, encouraging them to stop to look at plants they might have otherwise have passed by, as well as to create connections and build camaraderie among plant enthusiasts, share knowledge, and contribute to a growing database of the flora of Illinois. The year 2020 was its fifth year: 86 people joined the project, comprising around 33% of the qualifying observations.

The Illinois Botanists Big Year only looks at Research Grade observations (those that have identifications that have been confirmed by at least one other person), a rough tool to ensure a level of data quality. For 2020, only around half of the qualifying observations of plants have reached Research Grade in Illinois so far. A huge huge thank you to the many identifiers who spend their time helping with this process. And a sustained call to action for anyone and everyone to help with identification. Even a rough ID like "plant", "dicot", "sunflower family", or "goldenrod" can be incredibly helpful to narrow it down. :)

Anyway. Lots of other stats and fun graphics below. Congrats and well wishes for 2021 to you all.

Most Species

  1. @abelkinser – 978
  2. @sanguinaria33 – 731
  3. @wildlandblogger – 722
  4. @johnhboldt – 713
  5. @elfaulkner – 592
  6. @adriansydor – 577
  7. @psweet – 537
  8. @sedge – 477
  9. @dziomber– 444
  10. @benzerante – 433

Most Observations

  1. @johnhboldt – 3,239
  2. @wildlandblogger – 1,749
  3. @benzerante – 1,459
  4. @abelkinser – 1,301
  5. @sanguinaria33 – 1,176
  6. @brdnrdr – 1,084
  7. @psweet – 1,049
  8. @taco2000 – 1,020
  9. @vnevirkov – 934
  10. @sedge – 916

Most IDs

Most identifications for other people (IDs on plant observations in Illinois in 2020):
  1. @abelkinser – 10,835
  2. @adriansydor – 9,473
  3. @mcaple – 7,773
  4. @bouteloua – 6,230
  5. @sedge – 5,426
  6. @tkoffel – 3,749
  7. @k2018lena – 3,654
  8. @wildlandblogger – 3,585
  9. @micahbowman – 2,619
  10. @elfaulkner – 2,112

Most Improving IDs

That is the number of times they were first-to-ID a species that the community subsequently agreed with (improving IDs on plant observations in Illinois in 2020):
  1. @mcaple – 2,070
  2. @adriansydor – 1,314
  3. @sedge – 1,150
  4. @k2018lena – 1,051
  5. @bouteloua – 773
  6. @abelkinser – 702
  7. @tkoffel – 464
  8. @micahbowman – 395
  9. @wildlandblogger – 367
  10. @elfaulkner – 349

The Most-observed Plant

Trillium recurvatum, prairie trillium!


Observation by @danielpohl in Winnebago County

Some of my other favorite observations of this species in 2020 were this lovely portrait by @jawinget and this oddball two-flowered individual by @robbmiller. @joelmc made these neat visualizations of prairie trillium observations over the year:


  

Observations per County

Check out that per capita density in southern Illinois. And poor little Edwards County only has a total of 5 plant observations ever.

Observations per Day

As you might expect, the warmer months have quite a bit more activity. :) Those dark purple days in late April are the City Nature Challenge. Are you participating in 2021?

The 100 Club

Botanizers who made Research Grade observations of over 100 species of plants in Illinois in 2020:

@abelkinser @adriansydor @alexandradestria @andrewhipp @averyshikanai @benzerante @berna @bouteloua @brandoncorder @brdnrdr @carolt-80 @cmidden @crwrcwamt @d_coulter @daltonk @damo87 @danielpohl @dicot1 @dziomber @eattaway92 @elfaulkner @hazelgrouse4 @hortusmax @irmela @jayell @jenhugstrees @jnelson7408 @joelmc @johnhboldt @justwanderin @k2018lena @k3outdoors @kathleensoler2 @kennedy9094 @laniarius @maureenclare @meganhanson @micahbowman @missgreen @mmasell @mn2010 @mrostrowski @mycorrhizael_fungal @naturalist_glenn @nicothoe @outdoorsie @paulroots @professorbeech @psweet @rafaelurbinacasanova @rarecatsnake @redadmiral98 @rgraveolens @rin_nd @robbmiller @ruthmetterhausen @sanguinaria33 @sedge @taco2000 @tararat @themothergooz @timfelinski0251 @tofish4 @ungulateunion @vnevirkov @wildernessbarbie @wildlandblogger @woodridgejeff

The Favoritest Observations

The most faved observation was, at no surprise to Bella, this photo of my dog eating plantain leaves. Ten observations tied for second with three faves each. A few of them:

Top left: Trillium nivale (snow trillium) by @wildlandblogger in Vermilion County
Top right: Asclepias meadii (Mead's milkweed) by @sanguinaria33 in Vermilion County
Bottom left: Lithospermum canescens (hoary puccoon) by @calumetkathleen in Cook County
Bottom center: Verbena bracteata (prostrate vervain) by @sedge in Champaign County
Bottom right: Circaea canadensis (enchanter's nightshade) by @micahbowman in Winnebago County

More "Mosts"

The Sedgehead: Most species in the genus Carex: @sanguinaria33 with 41 species!

The Grassmaster: Most species within the family Poaceae: @abelkinser with 95 species!

The Compositor: Most species within the family Asteraceae: @abelkinser with 141 species!

The Sporophyte: Most species outside of flowering plants, Magnoliophyta): @abelkinser with 70 species!

Species New to Illinois on iNat

Dozens of species new to iNat in Illinois this year. A few listed below:

and finally...

Don't forget to join the 2021 project:

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/illinois-botanists-big-year-2021/join

Thanks to all for sharing your plant explorations this year!

@bouteloua (cassi saari) with cool charts and graphs from @joelmc

Posted on January 16, 2021 22:26 by bouteloua bouteloua | 7 comments | Leave a comment

December 04, 2020

8,057 unidentified observations in Illinois in 2020

As of 4 Dec. at 1:48PM, there are 8,057* observations made in Illinois in 2020 that have no label at all!

Ways to help with the backlog:
  • Add an ID; even if a "coarse" one like kingdom or family - it can help bring it to the attention of identifiers of these groups
  • Mark as captive/cultivated if appropriate (keyboard shortcut on the Identify page is x
  • Use the Frequently Used Responses for issues that commonly pop up

View a quick tutorial on how to efficiently use the Identify page here.

Happy IDing!

*And that's just Needs ID obs! There are even more casual obs, e.g. of cultivated plants, which are outside the scope of this project. Interested in IDing those? Here's a link.

Posted on December 04, 2020 19:50 by bouteloua bouteloua | 1 comment | Leave a comment

July 12, 2020

July 2020 Update of the Illinois Botanists Big Year

Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) flowers are opening in northern Illinois, so we must be in the heart of summer! :)

So far in 2020 the ILBBY has...


3,199 observers
36,441 research grade observations of plants
1,437 species
1,223 identifiers

New to observing plants in Illinois on iNaturalist in the past 2 months are: @aengel @alexisburson @ashleysilver @brad261 @brucestikkers @carriehardin @carriekinderhaus @chanmmm @craigdavis1 @cschenkenfelder @ctomera @dawn367 @elizabeth1021 @elizabeth975 @elpaseocommunitygarden @jakubt @jeffo5 @joe709 @jonpson @kelly893 @khayutin @korikotarba @lizard_queen_ @luna89 @mackenziekiewitt @mahnoor3 @marjadrew @marylucille @mearsley @missanthropic @morelock37 @ms_strange @munky15 @nathanrs @natureboy411 @nicolebellantuono @nicolecarrow @opiewon @rfhall @rikkir77 @samdeleon @sci_fam @shanas71 @skillackey_ @spl_michelle @tenoaksranch @thewisdomlibrary @trentonmoore24 among many others - almost 400 new folks so far this summer.

Welcome! If you want to stay apprised of Illinois Botanists Big Year updates, you can join the project here.

Identifiers: if you want to focus your efforts on new iNaturalist users, try this link.

Most species so far:

  1. @johnhboldt – 489
  2. @wildlandblogger – 452
  3. @abelkinser – 390
  4. @sanguinaria33 – 388
  5. @adriansydor – 352
  6. @elfaulkner – 302
  7. @missgreen – 238
  8. @psweet – 282
  9. @bouteloua – 269

(skrentnyjeff removed at his request.)

Plant Pic Picks

Don't forget to favorite observations to highlight good photos or cool finds!

Beautiful field of coneflowers and compass plant (Silphium laciniatum) in a cemetery prairie by @johnhboldt in Henry County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51966118

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) by @tararat in McLean County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51935343

Take a jump back to the cooler temps of early May with this lovely hill of puccoons (Lithospermum canescens) and birdsfoot trefoil (Viola pedata) by @calumetkathleen in Cook County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46455948

And mid-May with this trio of wild geranium flowers (Geranium maculatum) by @robbmiller in Winnebago County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46427646

Some bright green baby leaves of hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) by @benzerante in Cook County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46550363

And finally this graceful Michigan lily (Lilium michiganense) by @rarecatsnake in Union County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51171865

Beautiful photos, everyone.

Help Identify

As always, please help your fellow botanists, when yr able, to identify/confirm their observations.

Species New to Illinois on iNat

Keep an eye on these links below for any new documentations in 2020.

You'll often find species on here that are the result of computer vision errors, and observations that should be marked captive/cultivated. Fixing these will massively help to sort the wheat from the chaff! Many thanks to all who help with quality control. :)

happy botanizing!
@bouteloua (cassi saari)

Posted on July 12, 2020 02:11 by bouteloua bouteloua | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 04, 2020

April 2020 Update of the Illinois Botanists Big Year

Welcome back to spring and another year of the Illinois Botanists Big Year!

For those new to the project, the Illinois Botanists Big Year is an annual program of the Illinois Native Plant Society. This is a friendly competition, and more of a personal challenge, to observe as many species of plants as you can in Illinois in a single year. You can learn more about the Illinois Native Plant Society at https://illinoisplants.org/ and find past year's summaries here: https://illinoisplants.org/illinois-botanists-big-year

So far in 2020 we've had...


509 observers
4,407 research grade observations of plants
591 species
321 identifiers

New to observing plants in Illinois on iNaturalist in the past month are @zoe152 @jacobhawkins @daltonk @knatmac @miller4252 @danielraczyk @kvv @mhaughan @nanohappiness @noahcf @trlong @bradbonnett @catievaccaro @emmariealexander @monserratponce @alanady @ksgrossart @ronandoo @srizzo @bobbygonzalez @bwolo @embracingnature @ghapp456 @glitterzilla @jainabemis @jenk87 @jnino77887 @kbelletire @ktlagory @sammyd_ @marniegalloway @seajay1511 @swethamathai @theresabru @treelover2020 @wintert, among many others - almost a hundred new users in all! If you want to stay apprised of Illinois Botanists Big Year updates, you can join the project here. Give them a big welcome and go help them with IDs :)

Most species so far:

  1. @wildlandblogger – 260
  2. @skrentnyjeff – 212
  3. @missgreen – 193
  4. @adriansydor – 175
  5. @johnhboldt – 172
  6. @sedge – 126
  7. @joelmc – 97
  8. @psweet – 95
  9. @taco2000 – 73
  10. @bouteloua – 63

@joelmc was awesome and put together some maps and graphs for the ILBBY. These visualizations were created in R using data downloaded from iNaturalist. You can find his code at this GitHub repo: https://github.com/joelmcf/ilbby2020

Thanks Joel!! He also created some calendar heatmaps for individual species of spring wildflowers, you can read more and view them at his iNat journal: https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/joelmc/32001-observation-patterns-for-spring-wildflowers

Also big thanks to everyone who's been helping with the Illinois Flower Phenology Annotation Blitz!

Plant Pic Picks

Don't forget to favorite observations to highlight good photos or cool finds!

Some true winter botanizing with this grey-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) observed by @sedge in Vermilion County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/38273046

This crazy double-flowered spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) observed by @outdoorsie in Saline County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/40736977

Very weenie wood betony (Pedicularis canadensis) observed by @elfaulkner in Cook County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/40142983

Lovely budding and flowering Enemion biternatum observed by @myzmur in Livingston County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41273614

And a bright, cheery bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) observed by @maddiejosmith in Champaign County:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41089609

Help Identify

As always, please help your fellow botanists, when yr able, to identify/confirm their observations.

Try sorting by "new iNaturalist users" or "random" to mix it up!

Even sorting "unknown" observations into broad bins, like "flowering plants" or "insects" is a super useful activity.

Species New to Illinois on iNat

And keep an eye on these links below for any new documentations in 2020.

You'll often find species on here that are the result of computer vision errors, and observations that should be marked captive/cultivated. Fixing these will massively help to sort the wheat from the chaff! Many thanks to all who help with quality control. :)

happy botanizing!
@bouteloua (cassi saari)

Posted on April 04, 2020 19:43 by bouteloua bouteloua | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 29, 2020

Illinois Flower Phenology Annotation Blitz

Hi! Looking for an indoor activity? I thought it would be cool to look at flowering phenology trends on iNaturalist observations in Illinois over time, but to do that, we need to annotate those observations as to whether they have flowers budding, flowering, or fruiting.

You can head to the Identify page, click on one of the cards, and select the Annotations tab at the top of the page.

From there, use keyboard shortcuts to make annotation go quicker!

p then u to mark it as flowers budding
p then l to mark it as flowering
p then r to mark it as fruiting
p then n to mark as not budding, flowering, or fruiting

Wait a moment for it to save, then press the right arrow key to move on to the next one.
Dicentra cucullaria by @sedge

A few points:
  • Remember that some plants can be both budding and flowering at the same time, or even all three! So you can annotate an observation with all three options.
  • It's a bit confusing, but there is no need to additionally press the "Agree"/thumbs up button after you add the annotation.
  • Try changing the sort order from newest first to oldest first, or even random.
  • Still stuck? Here's another tutorial and longer page about annotations, but also feel free to ask questions in the comments below.
  • Have a question about a particular example? Use the comments below to link to them or feel free to @ tag some local plant nerds like myself in the comments on the observation.
As of 29 March 2020, there are:
  1. 1,576 observations of "spring wildflowers" unannotated in Illinois for the months of January - March
  2. 18,763 observations of "spring wildflowers" unannotated in Illinois for the months of January - May
  3. 184,871 observations of all flowering plants in Illinois that are unannotated (and 14,000 are annotated!)

Happy annotating!
—cassi
Posted on March 29, 2020 16:21 by bouteloua bouteloua | 11 comments | Leave a comment

January 26, 2020

January 01, 2020

Welcome to the Illinois Botanists Big Year 2020!

And we're off! I see some of you have been out and about already. :)

Find the most plant species in Illinois in 2020 and rejoice in your victory! The year 2020 marks the fifth annual Illinois Botanists Big Year. Anyone may participate, from professional botanist to plant identification novice, by uploading photographic proof of their plant sightings to iNaturalist. Each observation will automatically count toward the contest if it meets the rules below.

Rules:

  1. Must be a plant (bryophytes and vascular plants – native and non-native species are accepted),
  2. Observed in Illinois,
  3. Observed in 2020 (and uploaded by January 15th, 2021), and
  4. Research Grade (that means it must be “wild/naturalized” and that you need a photo, date, location, and at least two people or >2/3 consensus on a species ID, in order to confirm the identification accuracy)

Winning Categories:

The official website, where you can find previous years' results and other helpful information is: https://ill-inps.org/illinois-botanists-big-year

For those wondering, the 2019 results will be announced on January 26th, 2020.
You have until then to help contestants out with identification.

happy botanizing!

-cassi / @bouteloua

Posted on January 01, 2020 21:26 by bouteloua bouteloua | 9 comments | Leave a comment