If you have some wildlife photos, send ’em in, as the queue is getting uncomfortably small. But, as I always say, publishing them is at my discretion, as I hate disappointing people. So make sure they’re good ones!
Reader Ray sent some unusual photos: domesticated reindeer. They were taken in Ivalo, which is in Lapland (Finland):
Taken by me, August 2012, near Ivalo above the Arctic Circle. At the reindeer farm, a Sami reindeer farmer beat a tree with a stick, and they came running from all over. They ate from our hands and you will see that they are quite small. Both male and female have antlers, unlike other deer, and the antlers always have a forward pointing`prong’ (I forget the technical term.) Most Christmas cards that purport to show reindeer from Lapland get them all wrong.
They are indeed smaller than I imagined; and I’d love to see the herds. I also didn’t know that reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are the same species we call “caribou” in North America, though that species is geographically variable in size and other morphological traits. Finally, I didn’t now they had a central, forward-pointing prong!
Regular Stephen Barnard from Idaho sent an amazing series of photos showing an interaction between Buteo swainsoni and B. jamaicensis:
Swainson’s and Red-tailed hawks in a dogfight high over my fields. The Swainson’s (with the darker breast) seems to have the upper hand. There was a third hawk taking place in the acrobatics — a Red-tailed, I think.
Finally, reader pyers sent us a photo absolutely emblamatic of England:
Mute swans (Cygnus olor) on the River Severn at Worcester. Nothing very special (we in England have few animals that can equal the spectacular ones that you have highlighted) but just an attractive sight ….
Indeed. If I saw that I’d immediately repair to the nearest pub to have a pint or three. Do they still have Landlord over there?