Readers’ wildlife photographs

May 2, 2015 • 8:30 am

Here are have three long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus) from reader Stephen Barnard, who notes: “This is a new bird for me, #83 on the Aubrey Spring Ranch species list.”




Reader Randy from Iowa sent three photos of a bird I don’t think we’ve had here before:

This is the first day I have seen the Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula, back for the summer.  The first is a photo of the typical nest and then a couple of the bird.  Very striking bird, even from the back.  If you put the sliced orange out, they will find you.

Nest and Moon  April 2015 002

Oriole  1 MAY 2015 001

Oriole  1 MAY 2015 002

And from Colin Franks (Facebook here, website here), two more photos.

Swan (Cygnus; species unidentified)


Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris):


Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis):



17 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

    1. Pretty certain that it is a Mute Swan ( Cygnus olor ). There is, if you look carefully, a bill knob which the Tundra Swan doesn’t have but the Mute does.

    2. +1 for Mute swan.
      orange/pink bill = mute swan
      black bill + yellow patch in front of eye = tundra swan

  1. Another thing that will attract I. galbula is to put some grape jelly in an orange-coloured dish. They certainly have a sweet tooth, being berry/nectar feeders, and I’ve known them to ignore the oriole feeder put out specifically for them in favor of the hummingbird feeders.

      1. “hummingbird”, as in, yeah, they use it, but so do the downy woodpeckers, the ants, the bees…I can always tell the woodpeckers have been around because they make such an awful mess and leave a sticky puddle underneath the feeders

    1. Thanks for this tip. I have grape jelly! It’s too sweet for me so it’s gone uneaten in the fridge. Now where can a I find an orange bowl? Don’t have one so I shall use the rindy ‘shell’ of an orange.

      1. oh of course, by all means use half an orange, I’ve done that as well. I assume that the color just acts as the attractant, especially once they’ve gotten used to you feeding them. you’ll just have to change out the rind from time to time, and of course, there will be ants.

  2. Congrats, Stephen, on the curlews! Such exciting birds! Nice in-flight shots.

    Randy, nice orioles! And I agree that they’re beautifully patterned from the back. Glad to hear they’re in Iowa; they’ll be here in MI soon. I’ve had my grape jelly out for a week or so, just in case.

    Colin, beautiful photos! I especially like the 2nd–it’s so quintessentially Marsh Wren!

  3. Orioles will also take suet, if you have a suet feeder that’s accessible to perching birds and you leave it up in the spring.

    Flowering trees are a great place to look as well. When our crabapple tree flowers in May, I can count on orioles showing up to investigate the blossoms.

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