Readers’ wildlife photographs

April 10, 2015 • 7:30 am

For those of you who sent photos but haven’t seen them yet, don’t worry; I’ve saved everything, and am back in Chicago where the pictures reside. Today, however, we’ll have photos by two of our regulars.

First, Stephen Barnard of Idaho, who rarely sends mammals besides moose and his border collie Deets:

There was a family of River Otters (Lontra canadensis) in one of my ponds this morning. [JAC: yesterday]

RT9A9701 (1)

And his resident pair of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Desi and Lucy (if you don’t know what their proper names mean, look them up). The eagles have apparently produced eaglets, but we haven’t seen them yet.

Lucy was calling to Desi to bring a fish for the babies, but he returned empty handed.







And Diana MacPherson, for reasons beyond my ken, sent a chipmunk butt:

This chipmunk was sitting like this for hours. Bum of Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus):


27 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. “Bum of Eastern Chipmunk” – That does sound like a dish invented by ridiculously pretentious UK chef Heston Blumenthal after a few ciders…

    1. Heresy! Diana is Canadian.

      Great pics as always Stephen. I hope we get to see more of those otters.

  2. I would be tempted to leave out some store bought salmon in a ‘bird feeder’ for the eagles. I am not sure if that is a no-no, aside from the possibility of the eagles becoming used to humans.

    1. From my limited knowledge of just watching lots of these Eagles, I don’t see them going for dead fish. They do love them alive and dead but frozen in the ice.

      1. They will scavenge. In Alaska, when the fish are cleaned and the carcasses thrown on the beech to get swept away in high tide, bald eagles, ravens, and seagulls will converge and fight for the tidbits. The eagles are like lions, and the ravens and seagulls are like jackals and hyaenas.

        Obviously there is more competition for food in a place like Alaska, so perhaps the behavior isn’t predictable in a solitary pair in the interior like Lucy and Desi. My guess is that they would investigate the salmon and once they discern it is fresh and yummy would grab it fast.

    1. I can’t remember. I think he was hungry from the cold rainy weather so was enjoying the seeds I left out for him. Chipmunks are coming from everywhere. I saw one travelling down the horse fence from the woods and some other guy I have no idea where he came from. This one lives just out near my deck.

  3. Two of my favorites on one day—river otters and chipmunks! Thanks, Stephen. Thanks, Diana. It’s always a treat to explore the ranch and to visit chipmunkville.

  4. To me, the chipmunk butt looks like the face of a chipmunk. Though I see pareidolia everywhere.

    Stephen, that must have been exciting seeing those critters in your pond. Is this a first? Also, are you worried about your trout population or are two river otters not too big a threat?

    1. I don’t fish the ponds much — prefer the creek. I like seeing and photographing wildlife so I consider it a fair tradeoff. The white pelicans are more of a threat and I always chase them off, which isn’t hard because they’re extremely spooky. By the way, there were more than two. Otters are very social.

  5. Ha ha I am behind in my email today. Working and dealing with weather induced migraines have slowed me down. It made me LOL when I read what Jerry wrote.

  6. One glimpse of that brilliant blue sky, and I know it’s more of Stephen Barnard’s wonderful birds! Love the otters and chippy too!

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