iNaturalist Adventure


Yesterday I was peacefully taking pictures of sandpipers at the Inwood Hill Park salt marsh when I heard furious flapping. I would actually describe it as a ruckus. When I turned around I see this poor duck in terrible distress. With the help of the zoom lens on my camera I was able to figure out exactly what was going on. This poor duck had been caught by a snapping turtle. The turtle had a firm grip on the duck's beak! It turned out that what I thought was a "battle royal" or fight to the death, was actually a stalemate. The beak isn't the most appealing part of a duck. Over the next 15 minutes or so I took some amazing pictures. I couldn't figure out what else to do. Getting to the marsh would involve scrambling down a slope covered with poison ivy. I thought about throwing rocks, but wasn't sure that would help. Eventually the duck lay still. I thought she was done for! Then imagine my surprise when she stands up and walks away! I cheered! Duck vs Dinosaur and Duck wins!

I went to the iNaturalist app on my phone. The "bot" refused to accept "snapping turtle" as what I saw. It insisted on just "seeing" the duck. Today I went online and learned that I could make a separate observation for the second creature. So now I have a "duck-centric" iNaturalist post AND a post about the snapping turtle.

Do you want to see more pictures of this battle? If you create an iNaturalist account you can find me by clicking the "community" tab and search for Elizabeth1144

If you are shy about the social media aspect of iNaturalist (or if you want to use this with children) you can download the free Seek app. It uses the iNaturalist database to identify species without the social connection.