Readers’ wildlife photos

July 4, 2014 • 3:45 am

Reader Stephen Barnard sent some bird photos from Idaho.  First a kildeer (Charadrius vociferus). Click to enlarge.

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His notes about the next two pics:

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) . I’m surprised the mallard hen let the chicks get so close to the heron. They’re vicious and would eat a duckling like a snack.

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12 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. The herons are gorgeous & it is strange the ducks get so close! Herons swallow everything they possibly can.

    1. Timetree says the duck & heron shared a common ancestor ~120My ago, so maybe the duck thinks the heron’s just a big duck.

    2. Stephen might comment on the distance he saw between them but the big telephoto lens is foreshortening the image quite a lot. It’s an illusion that they are as close as they appear.

  2. There is nothing “vicious” about the predatory habits of a Heron or any other meat eater.
    “Red in tooth and claw”.

  3. OK, vicious is a loaded word, but in my experience GBHs will kill and eat anything they can swallow, and some things they can’t swallow.

  4. Sometimes this place gets a golden light in the evening, with the sunset in the background reflecting off the water.

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