Virtual Okefenokee Exploration through iNaturalist

Bird feather laying in dew covered grass trail. Found hiking along the Upland Pine Trail in the Stephen C Foster State Park. Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, USA. Photographed May 2020. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from

The Okefenokee has grown into an obsession! Even though I have opportunity for only a few “boots-on-the-ground” days in the Swamp each year, I love exploring it year-round through online and print publications. I just can’t get enough!

My favorite way to get into the swamp (virtually) is through iNaturalist. Just like paddling down an Okefenokee kayak trail, I can search the observations posted by other amateur naturalists, stopping here and there to more closely inspect and identify species of plants and insects. Just like raising my binoculars in the swamp, iNat users perch their beautiful avian observations online. I get a thrill when other users post their observations of a Black Bear ambling through the Stephen C Foster campground, or a Bobcat bounding along the Upland Pine Trail, or an Anhinga diving to spear a fish.

There are currently two projects on iNaturalist highlighting the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. One is a ‘collections project’ that automatically gathers every observation posted within the refuge. It is a great page to check for new and exciting observations I might have missed in my subscription feed. The other, the Okefenokee Photography Project, is a traditional project where members can post and identify the higher quality photography from the Swamp. Both projects have journals that post news from the Refuge and articles highlighting species or experiences in the Okefenokee from users.

iNaturalist observation:

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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