Readers’ wildlife photos

August 22, 2014 • 4:37 am

We’re running low, folks, so I may have to put this feature on hiatus until some good photos accumulate.  Again, we publish only the very best here at WEIT!

Today reader Diana MacPherson,  the website’s Official Animal Anthropomorpizer™, continues her analyses of sparrows and chipmunks. Indented captions are hers.

Here are some more House Sparrow & Chipmunk photos. The chippy was grooming his wet fur today & I caught some amusing poses at at the end.

Male House/English Sparrow (Passer domesticus). Either this is a juvenile or he is losing his breeding colours. I suspect this is a juvenile as his beak still has some yellow on it.


Baby House sparrow opens mouth & shows tongue. What a weird tongue – not at all like a budgie’s tongue (the only bird tongues I’m familiar with)


Baby House Sparrow waits for food in a very dignified manner.


Check out those long claws on the chippy! [Tamias striatus]


Chippy sits up straight as if instructed by a teacher.


 The next two are the funniest – this looks like the chipmunk is acting out the final scene in Hamlet or Laertes getting stabbed behind the curtain!


Here the chipmunk either “vogues” or is being a beast no one should look at! [JAC: I think it’s a chipmunk facepalm.]



31 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

        1. But I’ve always been a generalist! Can I be an animal anthropomorphizer with experience in toilet paper flipping? 😉

          1. Can I be an animal anthropomorphizer with experience in toilet paper flipping?

            Sounds like one of those fake job ads, composed to deter potential candidates, because the position is already taken.

            1. Ugh! I always get in trouble for the kvetching! I leave the title in the paw of Ceiling Cat, who I will leave cream out for on Xmas.

  1. Not to be pedantic but it was Laertes’ old man, Polonius, who was stabbed through the curtain.

    Love the photos, though.

    1. I thought it felt a bit wrong as I typed that, but I was tired & my left brain told my right brain to stop fussing.

  2. Loved the chipmunk pics and captions. I spent a fall semester at U. of Indiana, Bloomington years ago. It was a beautiful wooded campus with chipmunks scurrying everywhere. I was enthralled by them—had never seen them before and haven’t since. They’re like cute, little elfin squirrels. I have oodles of deer on my property, nesting great blue herons, Canada geese (they sure do poop a lot), squirrels galore (lots of assorted oak trees), and multiple other creatures. But no chipmunks. Thanks, Diana, for sharing yours!

    1. You probably have those cute & feisty American Red Squirrels in your trees. I only occasionally see those because they live in the trees next to my property & are not interested in venturing into my yard. When I do see them, they give meaning to the word, “squirrly” because they are hyper & nervous, darting all over the place.

      It could be there is too much competition with the squirrels so they don’t go there as the squirrels can hurt them easily. My wild animals tolerate each other at the feeders, though the chipmunks are very cautious of the much bigger grey squirrels.

  3. A very pious chippy indeed. Then suddenly discovers he looks too pious and does the Homer “Doh!” and face-palm. heehee. Great photos.
    The tongue is rather pointy, but at least a “natural” pink color. I like budgies that have the purple/blue tongue…or the black tongue of some parrots are cool too.

  4. I’m going to be on the outs around here; but I don’t permit “English sparrows” in my yard.

    We provide houses/boxes for cavity nesters like (especially) bluebirds and tree swallows. The English sparrows (ES) are fierce competitors for nesting cavities and territories. In the US and Canada they are exotics that are bad for the locals. They are not protected.

    I remove them using an air rifle. (Which is pretty challenging from 40-60 feet away.) I only shoot the males because making a positive ID on the females is not sure enough. There is nothing else around here that looks like an ES male.

    I saw some ESs destroy a bluebird nest (with its eggs) in one of our boxes a few years back, and that’s when the policy started.

    Interestingly, the ESs seem to have learned to avoid our yard. They were thick around the boxes at first; but now I almost never see them. Cultural learning? Maybe.

    One more confession: We recently saw the neighbors’ young cat attack a fledgling robin (in our yard; we have many nesting birds in our yard). We complained and they now keep the cat indoors — which will probably improve its life expectancy by many years.

    1. I have boxes for bluebirds but they are so fussy deciding that they often get their boxes scooped by other birds. Too bad if they go extinct for being big fussy jerks.

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