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ENVIRONMENT CANADA (Opens in new window)
Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (Only available in sp (Opens in new window)
United States Geological Survey (Opens in new window)

Instructions for Submission

We invite you to contribute your high quality photographs to Piranga. We are interested in photos of any bird species occurring in Canada, the United States or Mexico, as long as they clearly show the relevant part of the bird. In many cases, this implies photos of wings and/or tails to show details of moult patterns and feather shape, in addition to photos of the whole bird.


For each species, we are looking for a variety of photographs including images in breeding and non-breeding plumages (if they differ), males and females (if they differ visibly) of every distinguishable age class (e.g. hatch year, after-hatch year, second-year, after-second year, etc.). We encourage images of multiple birds in the same category especially to show variation in moult or feather wear patterns, or geographic variation.

All images should be well exposed, sharply focused, and clearly show key features for identification of species, age and sex. All pictures should be in .jpg format with moderate compression. The preferred size is 1024 pixels wide. Larger images will be accepted but will take longer to upload, and will take longer for users to download. All images will be automatically reduced on submission for comparative display and thumbnails, but the original will be kept and can be viewed through the zoom function. We encourage you to use a photo editor to crop and resize your images yourself, so you can maximize the size of the bird, make any necessary adjustments to exposure, contrast, framing, etc. and control the quality. You do not need to include your name on the image, as credits will be provided underneath each image (see notes on documentation, below). In addition, since these are images of birds in the hand, the utmost care must be taken to show that they are being held safely and according to banding protocols. Inappropriate images will be removed.

More suggestions on how to take a photo for Piranga


To maximize the scientific and educational value of the Piranga site, and to help users make the most of the program, we require basic documentation on all photographs and sound recordings submitted.

This documentation includes:

Age and sex of the bird
Please specify the age and sex of the bird, as precisely as it can be determined from the photographs. We also ask for further details on the age/sex of the bird if additional characters not visible in the photo were used to determine the age and/or sex (e.g., because it was banded in a previous year, or you checked skull pneumatization, wing chord, etc.). The “true” age field is optional, but if used must indicate how you determined the age and sex of the individual.

Character Description
To complement the Method field, we ask you to provide a brief description of how the visible characters in the photo were used to determine the age / sex, to help users understand the various cues used in ageing and sexing, and how they related to the individual under consideration. For example, a record for a second-year male American Goldfinch might read: “Bright yellow body feathers; extensive white at base of primaries, brownish primary coverts and alula contrast with replaced greater coverts; olive lesser coverts”. This field will be shown for all images associated with a particular bird record, so please ensure that the comment addresses all relevant characteristics and not just the wing, for example.

Band Number
Please provide the number of the band that was placed on the leg of the individual, to serve as a unique identifier for the bird. If you do not have this information, an arbitrary identifier will be created for reference purposes.

Please provide as much information as you can - as a minimum the month (or season) must be known to determine the correct age code. If you are not quite sure of the month (e.g., whether it was in late April or early May), make a best guess - at least then users will know the season. Most modern digital cameras automatically record the date on the file, but this will not be visible to users, so you need to enter the information.

As a minimum, the location should indicate the country and province or state. Additional details can be provided, but are optional. If details are provided, please keep them simple, preferably restricted to standard place names can be understood by users regardless of their language. This site is designed to be multi-lingual (English, French, Spanish), but it will not be possible for us to translate user submitted text fields.

Name of the photographer
This is normally assumed to be the person contributing the file. The separate field should only be filled in if the photos are not yours. You should only contribute files for which you own the copyright (as indicated in the copyright license), or for which the owner has explicitly given you permission -- you are legally responsible for ensuring that you have the rights to post the photos.


Once you have finished uploading an image file and creating the documentation, please review everything carefully to ensure that no errors have occurred. Once you hit the save key, your image will be posted to the live site, and you will be invited to either upload another image of the same individual, or exit the upload page. There is no review process other than the peer review that will occur once other users view your images and read your comments. You can edit, modify or delete your files at any time.