Mark those calendars! April 24-27 - how will DFW do?

Hey all, be sure to mark your calendars for the City Nature Challenge on April 24 - 27! How many things can you observe during these four days?!?

Here's a fun challenge -- search for the species that have been observed in DFW that you've not yet recorded!

Just replace the "sambiology" with your username. You can filter then by plants, or beetles, or birds, or whatever.

I'll update another journal on this project page with a list of events -- bioblitzes, nature gatherings, etc... Let me know if you know of some.

Looking forward to spring! :)

Posted on 28 January, 2020 23:12 by sambiology sambiology


@sambiology Woo hoo! It's on my calendar, Sam. Looking forward to it!

Posted by kathrynwells333 about 4 years ago

I'm ready, bring it on! :-D

Posted by annikaml about 4 years ago

Should be fun, can’t wait!

Posted by rangertreaty50 about 4 years ago

And BTW, I’m pretty sure we’re coming out on top this year! :)

Posted by rangertreaty50 about 4 years ago

Who are you people again?...…..

Posted by oddfitz about 4 years ago

Aye i'm on there. Exited for this.

Posted by tgbirdnerd about 4 years ago

I'll make plans to hit the Trinity.

Posted by peywey about 4 years ago

Looking forward to it!

Posted by missmary about 4 years ago

LOL @oddfitz !

Posted by annikaml about 4 years ago

This was the longest winter EVER! I'm gunning for #1 in DFW this year guys! BRING IT! :D

Posted by wildcarrot about 4 years ago

Got it down!

Posted by lpenn about 4 years ago

Have that time off and will be ready to go!

Posted by lulubelle about 4 years ago

We're in !

Posted by rehb about 4 years ago

I'm in - looked through your list (since I don't know how to sort) - I didn't know that budgies were found loose around here! Last time I've seen a parakeet in the wild was in Chicago where there's a few populations of green monk parrots living in the wild.

Posted by txmom2 about 4 years ago

Thanks for that search query Sam! I'm surprised at some of the common species I still haven't observed in the DFW area.

Posted by observerjosh about 4 years ago

Fired up and ready!

Posted by mchlfx about 4 years ago

I'll ask UNT Society for Ecological Restoration if they want to host a BioBlitz. Thanks Sam!!

Posted by baxter-slye about 4 years ago

I'll be doing my own bioblitz at Benbrook Lake, probably on Saturday April 25th.

Posted by observerjosh about 4 years ago

I'll do my best! Marked it on the calendar!

Posted by mnbrewer about 4 years ago

Hey @sambiology, is there any way to redefine the boundary of the DFW Metroplex?

OMB defines it as the following cities and counties:
19100 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area
Principal Cities: Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Irving, Denton, Richardson

19124 Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division
Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Ellis County, Hunt County, Kaufman County,
Rockwall County

23104 Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division
Hood County, Johnson County, Parker County, Somervell County, Tarrant County, Wise

And it will likely get redefined again after the completion of the 2020 census and subsequent OMB review.

Posted by observerjosh about 4 years ago

The most recent delineation file is located here:

It includes:
Henderson County
Fannin County
Navarro County
Collin County
Dallas County
Denton County
Ellis County
Hunt County
Kaufman County
Rockwall County
Johnson County
Parker County
Tarrant County
Wise County
Bryan County (OK)
Cooke County
Hood County
Palo Pinto County
Grayson County

Posted by observerjosh about 4 years ago

For comparison purpose over the years, isn't it better to keep the counties that are included the same?

Posted by annikaml about 4 years ago

The problem with that is, populations change, as well as those who participate in these types of events.

Posted by observerjosh about 4 years ago

Awesome to hear that many folks are excited for this!!! I am too. And excited for spring in general. :) Looking forward to seeing what others will see.

Meanwhile, several years ago, we decided on these county boundaries based on just the size of other metros... It's not really based on any sort of census, just a reasonable size in comparison with the other 'metros' in Texas... The "rules" of the City Nature Challenge have always been intentionally pretty low to inspire as much engagement as possible. Hopefully some of the other towns in the other directions of DFW will take a little day trip to the 9 counties in our area (or whichever other area is near to them). :)

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago

I'm looking forward to it!

Posted by cgritz about 4 years ago

Ready Set!...

Posted by carolyn5 about 4 years ago

Neat trick. To even out those observations, I need to head east and get some forest observations and more animals. I’m supposing that the reason plants are so low on my unobserved list is I’ve seen the most popular ones. My kid got a new camera for Christmas. Maybe she’ll let me borrow it. Can’t wait.

Posted by rozzychan about 4 years ago

YESSSSSS......can't wait to dominate. DFW will take down Cape Town. Gonna squazsh La Paz. Gonna flay the bay (area), gonna, gonna...err.....el Reto's gonna regreto....ehh.....whatever, I'm done. You get the idea.

Very excited!

Posted by tadamcochran about 4 years ago

I'm ready!

Posted by justjenny about 4 years ago

You have me that weekend. Lets do this again lets double those observations and bring more awareness!

Posted by galactic_bug_man about 4 years ago

One of my favorite times of the year! I'm so ready!

Posted by miscelaineous about 4 years ago

Stoked! Think both a beginning and a more advanced class in the works for City of Lewisville. Hoping for perfect weather.

Posted by mchlfx about 4 years ago

wanted to loop in Tiara Chapman from LLELA. @tchapz

Posted by mchlfx about 4 years ago

We're a GO for Moth Night at Mockingbird Nature Park in Midlothian on Friday, April 24! Here's a link to our project page: It's open to the general public from 7:30 to 10:00 pm, but we can stay until midnight.

Posted by cgritz about 4 years ago

Looking forward to it!

Posted by clay_s about 4 years ago

Got a new mothing light and ready to bring my A game. I will be getting the South Nature and Outdoor Club in on it so they can help us and get brownie points for helping out. I have been trying to teach everyone I can about iNaturalist.

Posted by galactic_bug_man about 4 years ago

@sambiology Chuck and I have created an event for the CNC for the North Central Texas Wildlife group on Facebook, so we can encourage members to participate. I'll link to info about how to sign-up to iNat etc, and any lists of events that you can provide.

Posted by rehb about 4 years ago

@sambiology Hey, Sam. On April 25th, there is an event at Clymer Meadow out in Celeste, which is Hunt Co. Is all of Hunt Co. within our boundary? I kind of wanted to go, but I was afraid my observations wouldn't count toward the CNC. I was looking at last year's boundary map (I think it was last year's anyway) and Celeste (and Clymer Meadow) are just a little ways outside of it. I'd hate to spend the time and effort out there if it doesn't count toward the CNC.

Posted by tadamcochran about 4 years ago

Hey all! Wanted to toss an update of events going on in the metroplex. If you know of others, or are planning any yourself, toss me a message, and we can update the list. :)

Thanks for all the comments on this post! With the wet winter we've had, I foresee lots of active nature come spring time. :)
@rehb -- thanks for posting on facebook! If you would like, please extend the list of events too.
@tadamcochran - alas, Hunt County isn't on the list of counties. :-/ Be sure to leave early to go to Clymer Meadow and stop the car every two miles or so while you're in Dallas, Rockwall, or Collin Counties. ;)

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago

Hey friends,

First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy these days. This is a huge message, but I did want to send an update about the City Nature Challenge next weekend. Here’s the short message:

The City Nature Challenge is still going on, and DFW is still participating. All observations will have to be made solo though – no gatherings or bioblitzes will be happening in the DFW metroplex. So, if you feel comfortable doing so, I encourage you to engage with nature during April 24-27 and make some iNaturalist observations close to home, in your backyard, in your home, or in a nearby park. I’m planning on going to a few parks, but I will go to places that other folks won’t be – little secret spots! The City Nature Challenge this year is all about engaging with nature during stressful times. Hope you’ll participate!

We’ll still use the results to show policy makers that nature is essential during these times – people NEED nature, always. I hope that it’ll be a powerful message that folks in DFW care about nature. It’s essential to us.

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago

State message:

For the past three years, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) through the Texas Nature Trackers program, has promoted and participated in the annual global City Nature Challenge (CNC) event, a biodiversity survey framed as a friendly competition between cities to see who can document the most species of plants and animals in and around urban areas.

However, due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and its global impact, this year the City Nature Challenge will not be a competition, but rather a collaborative global effort in which we celebrate the healing power of nature and document our local plants and animals however we safely can.

Most scheduled events in Texas have been, and likely will be, cancelled as shelter-in-place and other orders regarding crowd size and social distancing are implemented at the local, state, and national levels. The health and safety of our communities is our top priority and we ask that Texas Master Naturalists who wish to participate in the CNC comply with the latest local, state, and national rules to slow and reduce the spread of this deadly virus. We also ask that you adhere to the rules implemented by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service pertaining to Texas Master Naturalist activity during this time.

Texas Nature Trackers will still monitor iNaturalist observations made during the four-day challenge (observation period runs Friday, April 24 through Monday, April 27) and we invite you, if nothing else, to document the plants and animals of your yard, common area, or even along the sidewalks when you get out for exercise for yourself and/or your pets.

Secondly, one of the greatest challenges the TNT staff has following the CNC is adding identifications to observations made during the four-day event. We encourage TMNs to help us with identifying observations from participating metro areas starting Friday, April 24 through Sunday, May 3. If you need assistance getting set up to help with this important aspect of the CNC, please email either Tania at or Craig at and they will get you on-board.

Finally, please consider using the hashtag #yardchallenge on social media or as a tag in iNaturalist observations to share how you are engaging in this year’s event. To learn more about the City Nature Challenge is, please visit: for Texas-specific information and project links and for a global perspective.

These are challenging times on so many levels and we know that all of you are anxious to have this in the rearview mirror. Working together we will see a day in the not-so-distant future where once again when we can all gather, hug, shake hands, and celebrate all that we are together and continue to move conservation of Texas’ natural resources forward.

Take good care, stay healthy and enjoy the peace and wonder of the natural world as much as possible.

The Texas Nature Trackers Team

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago

Global message from coordinators:

This year’s City Nature Challenge is no longer a competition.
We want to embrace the collaborative aspect of the CNC this year and the healing power of nature to allow people to document their local biodiversity in whatever way they can.
It is imperative that you follow the regulations of your governments and the organizations where you work.
As a participant, it is up to you how much or how little you take part! Do only what feels safe for you & your family and is in accordance with all your local regulations.
Visit our CNC & COVID-19 FAQ page.

For cities continuing to participate in CNC 2020:

It is imperative that you follow the guidelines/recommendations of your local governments & institutions (i.e., limit or cancel events if needed)
Do what’s best for you & your community

Alternatives to in-person events

Check out this guide we've put together: Exploring Nature In and Around Your Home for the City Nature Challenge


What can people find in their houses? What can they see through their windows?
Focus on identifications! Can your city go through ALL the observations (not just CNC!) that have already been made in your area but aren’t research grade yet?
During April 28 - May 3, hold virtual ID parties!

In Backyards:

Encourage people to put up moth lights or put down cover boards at their houses to help bring nature to them!
What are the wild plants growing in your backyard?
What insects or other creatures are using the cultivated plants in your backyard as habitat or a food source?

Outside of your home and backyard (if allowed):

Practice social distancing wherever you go.
Promote people going outside and making observations on their own/with a small group of their family & friends, instead of joining big events.
Think about making observations along sidewalks, pavements, roads, or in residential areas if local parks are too crowded for social distancing. Always be mindful of traffic.

If you’re allowed to hold CNC events:

Keep them outside! Luckily this is what the CNC is all about, but if you were planning an indoor portion of an event, forgo it and keep the whole event outside
Limit registration
Practice social distancing (it's best if people stay 2-3m apart)
Don’t have shared, unwrapped food available - encourage people to bring & eat their own food
Have places available where people can wash their hands and/or have hand sanitizer
Don’t pass around binoculars, phones, guidebooks, etc. - everyone should keep their gear to themselves

Stay safe, hang in there, and we can't wait to see what you find - in your houses, in your backyards, along sidewalks, in parks - and know that people all around the world are joining you in documenting nature in whatever way they can during these unprecedented times.
Our thoughts are with all of you,
Alison Young (@kestrel) - California Academy of Sciences and Lila Higgins (@lhiggins) - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago

@sambiology Thanks for the update, Sam! I look forward to participating and to enjoying the observations of others. I'll be warming up my clicker finger to help identify all the wonderful species that folks find.

Posted by kathrynwells333 about 4 years ago

Time to break out my own secret spots.

Posted by peywey about 4 years ago

I will miss seeing all the iNatters at differents events, but thrilled we are still doing the CNC. Happy and safe,observing to everyone!

Posted by annikaml about 4 years ago

I was so excited about the upcoming bioblitz, but will happily be out searching for as much as I can find!

Posted by lulubelle about 4 years ago

Newsflash! :)

We've got the dates for next year's City Nature Challenge!

The 2021 City Nature Challenge dates:
Making observations: April 30 - May 3
Getting everything uploaded / working on identifications: May 4 - 9
Results announced: May 10

Mark those calendars!!! :-D

Posted by sambiology almost 4 years ago

On my calendar; thanks, Sam!

Posted by kathrynwells333 almost 4 years ago

Calendar marked!

Posted by tadamcochran almost 4 years ago

Awsome! Thanks!

Posted by baxter-slye almost 4 years ago

AWESOME - ugh I simply cannot type/spell/use a keyboard anymore. LOL

Posted by baxter-slye almost 4 years ago

Good to know.

Posted by peywey almost 4 years ago

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