Readers’ wildlife photos

September 17, 2014 • 5:37 am

We got your birds and your arthropods today. First, reader Mark Sturtevant has a sort of quiz:

It turns out that for both of these photos your readers might enjoy answering the question: What is going on?

  1. This harvestman (possibly Leuronychus pacificus) has something stuck on its front leg. What is it? [Click to enlarge.]


  1. I crawled through tall thistles to take this picture of a female banded argiope (Argiope trifasciata) because I saw she had a smaller companion. I was astonished when I uploaded the picture to my computer to see a scene that was rich with depravity. What is going on? Look carefully:


Here’s a ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) from reader Diana MacPherson:


From reader Stephen Barnard in Idaho:

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and a Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) tailing while feeding on mayfly nymphs.

Red tailed hawk


And a song sparrow (Melospiza  melodia):



31 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. No idea about the harvestman but the spiders appear to be mating. The thing at the bottom of the picture…an offering by the male to stop the female from eating him? Just a guess.

      1. The female is eating up the male after mating & she has already eaten up an earlier male most probably because she didn’t like him as a mate — is that it?

          1. I think the 4th (the one that appears to be in between the M & F) is a shed skin – probably the female’s. (unless there is another 4th I am missing). Males like to wait around at the webs for female’s that are about to molt so they can mate with her as soon as she is an adult. The one guy at the bottom may have tried too soon when she didn’t distinguish between mate/meal. Not sure if these spiders sacrifice themselves to ensure paternity (like black widows).

            1. Maybe, and I have not thought of that. But I have raised argiopes and have never seen a female ‘eating’ her cast skin. But I did not go around the other side of the web (I did not know what was possibly going on), so I cannot rule out your suggestion.

      1. The hummingbirds cheat a bit with the rose of sharon – they stick their beaks into the outside base of the flower to access the nectar. I guess they learned they can’t get to it the normal way. Clever little beasts!

      1. Yeah, there is something really striking about the hummer photo. Don’t know what it is…soft, pastel, ethereal…almost like a painting. Good job!

    1. FishBase says it’s derived from the Kamchatkan name “mikizha” or “mykyz”. Using words from non-classical languages for scientific names started with Linnaeus.

  2. So is the blob a mite? Looks pretty amorphous to me. That spider photo is great…thanks for the quiz…I only got part of it, but other readers have filled in the blanks.

    Love the trout…we need more fish photos! I have some that I’ll see if Prof. Ceiling Cat approves of.

    The lighting on the song sparrow is perfect. Wow! Did it just land, or is it about to take off?

  3. How lovely! I truly look forward to these photos everyday, as they cheer me up. I appreciate the effort made by your many contributors to capture these little vignettes of their encounters on the wild side. (I haven’t been getting out much.)

    Thanks, everyone and thanks, PCC, for posting them.

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