Readers’ wildlife photos

August 11, 2014 • 5:11 am

Today we have a diverse selection of both critters and contributors:

First, a hymenopteran from reader Ant:

What I’ve tentatively identified as a mammoth wasp (Megascolia (Regiscolia) maculataflavifrons also Scolia flavifrons). This specimen was about 4 cm long.[JAC: 2.54 cm/inch, so about 1.6 inches!] and quite docile, but one of our party got quite a shock when she saw what had landed on her back. (No pics of that!)  Le Jardin des Abeilles, Corsica, 8 July.


From reader Glenn Butler, of Portsmouth, Virginia:

Not great pics from my ipad, but an unfortunate trio of squirrels that had their nest tree removed. Their mother should come back for them, but if not we’ll be sure wildlife rehab tends to them.

I’m posting the best of the baby squirrel pictures.


Reader Rob sends two photos of Spruce Grouse (Grice?), Dendragapus canadensis.

These are shots of the elusive Spruce Grouse.  The big bird is momma looking down on us as her 3 chicks were foraging on the ground.  This was a Great Wass Island, a sanctuary managed by the Nature Conservancy north of Arcadia National Park.

When sending photos, please don’t forget the Latin binomial, or it will make extra work for the management!

Spruce Grouse

I assume this is a chick, but I don’t know from grice:


Spruce Grouse3

From Reader Stephen Barnard in Idaho:

A Western Wood Pewee [Contopus sordidulus]perched on my tripod before and after catching a meal.



Male Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri):


And I’m sneaking in a spiffy new logo for Professor Ceiling Cat designed by reader Aneris:

Logo Coyne Aneris

30 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. So cute that the Western Wood Pewee landed on the tripod. Also, I’m jealous of the variety of hummingbirds as we only have the one kind here.

    That mammoth moth is scary looking!

    1. As I wrote in my email to Jerry, the *wasp* was very docile. My daughter and I were putting our fingers very close to it to move leaves and such out of the shot and it was apparently completely unperturbed.


      1. That, and the appearance reminds me of the giant wasp in the U.S. known as the cicada killer. That wasp is a parasite on cicadas, and like the mammoth wasp it too is docile.

  2. Corsica is known for its fragrant wildflowers, many of which are specific to said island. The small lupine-like flowers on which the wasp is doting are lovely, however, so is the waxy, lush foliage.

    1. Wolf-like-like? 😉

      The “Le Jardin des Abeilles” website (; link above is corrupt) has a photo gallery where you can see some of the variety of flowers they have on site. Part of the same excursion was a walk through the maquis with a talk about the medicinal properties of various flowers, very little of which I remember (but the views were spectacular).


    2. Corsica may well have fragrant wildflowers, but that’s a Hebe bush – a New Zealand native. Maybe Hebe speciosa – but’s there’s a lot of cultivated varieties now.

  3. The trio of squirrels were rescued by their mother and, I assume, taken to another nest. It’s charming to watch a mother squirrel carry her offspring by the scruff of the neck.

  4. Stephen, how much fun to have a Pewee on your tripod!

    That orange gape flange showing makes me think it’s a juvenile, which fits not only the season but also the curiosity and naïve behavior. Love it when the baby birds appear.

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