How to Use the Data Collection Form
There are different versions of the NatureMapping Data Collection Form, but they all require the same basic information.
Step 1. Download and print the Data Collection Form >>
Step 2. Before you start collecting data, learn how to complete the data collection form >>
or read the Summarized instructions.
Step 3. Observe wildlife in your yard or local park and try filling out the data collection form.
After some experience, you should be ready to collect data in the field.
The Data Collection Form:
A completed Data Collection Form:
Description of John Smith's field observations:
On November 23, 2006, John Smith (ID 4799) collected data while
on a walk in Mt. Baker Park in Seattle, Washington. First, he heard an
Anna's hummingbird and saw it fly to a rhododendron tree in a mixed
deciduous/conifer forest (Habitat Code = 236). Then he noticed another
hummingbird chase the first one into the woods. John got a good look at both of the little green
When he went home, he did a Google search to find information on hummingbirds and
found the Anna's Hummingbird Fact Sheet on the NatureMapping website.
He read that only one species of hummingbird overwinters in Seattle, so John was sure that the
little green birds he saw were Anna's hummingbirds. He found the Latitude and Longitude coordinates of Mt. Baker Park using
a mapping website called EarthTools.
Then he checked the NatureMapping website to find the Species Code for Anna's hummingbird (CAAN) and the Habitat Code.
While on his daily walk, John saw a grayish squirrel with a bushy tail
quickly climb up a tree, but he only got a brief look at the animal, so
he was unsure of the identification. On previous walks in the park he had observed
Eastern gray squirrels, so he thought that's the species he spotted at the park.
The following day, November 24th, John Smith was playing with his son at the park when
he spotted an American robin feeding on earthworms (Habitat Code = 235 Forested park surrounded by development). His son noticed that
the bird had a black head, which is characteristic of the adult male. American robins are very
common in the neighborhood, and his son pointed out the orange-red chest of the medium-gray bird, so John was sure
the identification was correct. For this observation, John recorded all the information on the Data Collection Form at home.
Practice Using the Data Collection Form
Observe wildlife in your yard or a local park and try filling out the data collection form. Leave your field guide at home and try to spend most of your time observing
wildlife. Take notes on the collection form to use for future reference. You can use field guides and online resources at home to help you identify wildlife species.
Species Codes and Habitat Codes are available on the NatureMapping Website.
Learn more about How to Participate >>