Readers’ wildlife photos: Geese, meese, and woodpeckers

March 17, 2014 • 10:49 am

Reader Stephen Barnard sent a good photo of what he considers a “drab bird”: a Canada goose (Branta canadensis), as well as a photo of two meese (Alces alces). His notes:

My best BIF to date. Technically. Too bad it’s on a drab bird that urban dwellers and golfers love to hate.

As a langiappe, a cow moose and yearling calf.

Canada goose


Regular Diana MacPherson sent three photos of a downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) at her feeder (I think she’s showing off her new camera, too!):

Here are some more pictures of the male downy woodpecker that comes around my place. For some reason, he kept trying sneak up on the fat that hangs on this post & he kept sliding down. Eventually, he just flew up to get the fat. The first picture shows him leaping down in mid leap. The next two show him contemplating his sneak up the post & his actual grasp of the post (notice his strange greenish feet with their long claws). I’ve been trying to get a good picture of his eyes for a while as they are usually hidden in shadow but with the sun today at the right level, I was able to see better into his eyes which are reflecting the light in the last two pictures. Also notice his tufted feathers around his beak. [JAC: I think those feathers prevent it from inhaling sawdust when it pecks at trees.]

Leaping Downy

Climbing Downy

Contemplative Downy

21 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos: Geese, meese, and woodpeckers

    1. I like them too, but I sometimes get comments from people who don’t like them because they make a mess of city parks and golf courses. They shit like, well, like geese. This is their natural breeding habitat and they fit right in.

      Technical info: 700mm, hand held, ISO 1250, f/8, 1/8000

      Nice photos, Diana.

      1. I used to work in a park & people always came up to me and said someone’s dog pooped on the site. They were surprised when I told them it was from geese. I love those geese because they are sassy – they hiss at your car. They have such moxy!

        I like how you really opened up the shadows, Stephen!

  1. OT, but I was wondering what you thought of last night’s COSMOS show where Neil deGrasse Tyson spent a lot of time on evolution.

    1. I don’t get cable so am unable to watch it, and haven’t gone online to do so. I’ll wait until my book is closer to completion before I can take the time to watch these properly.

      1. Found his explanation for the evolution of the eye easy to understand for science novices like me. In Chicago, it is on local fox 32. No need for cable.

        1. I noticed that on my local Fox station, they reran last week’s 1st show on Saturday evening. Maybe it’ll be the same for Chicago.

          All in all, I thought Neil did a good job on last night’s evolution show. I think Dawkins sees the series a week late, so I don’t expect to hear from him ’til next week.

  2. Canada geese are beautiful. There is nothing like the sound of a flock of Canada’s honking.
    We have no one to blame but ourselves for the cessation of migratory habits.

  3. You can’t fool me with your sciency explanations, Diana. That first woodpecker pic obviously shows him using his VTOL thrusters.

  4. That goose picture really is technically perfect. And, because it is, you can see that geese aren’t quite so drab and boring after all.

    Diana, how big is that woodpecker? He looks hummingbird-sized, maybe sparrow-sized. The Gila Woodpeckers I’m familiar with are roughly the same size as pigeons and doves.


    1. The woodpecker is a bit bigger than a sparrow but close to sparrow sized as I think their tail feathers make them seem longer.

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