Readers’ wildlife photographs

August 18, 2015 • 7:15 am

Remember: send in any good wildlife photos you have, please. The picture tank is getting inexorably lower.

Reader Karl Elvis MacRae (where did he get his middle name?) sent us a photo of a tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) with the note:

I don’t know if this is ‘wild’ enough since it was shot in the Oregon Coast Aquarium, not in the actual wild. But, in it’s defense, tufted puffins are cute as hell.

Tufted Puffin

And from Cameron Way. I think the “squirrels” are Eastern chipmunks, but they might be lined ground squirrels. Readers can help here. 

I was camping this past weekend in Wyoming. I took a few pictures of squirrels. My wife Lori reminded me that you might appreciate them. Attached are two, print-quality photos. I will send a second email with 2 more photos. They were eating the dog’s food.
DSC_8072-20150815- Squirrel
DSC_8074-20150815- Squirrel
These were sent by reader Stephen Barnard on May 21, and again I’ve lost his notes. Readers will surely be able to identify the second creature, but help out with the first and third, please:

18 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. A few pictures for your collection!

    This little (big) guy was sitting on my bike one afternoon when I was leaving the lab. It wasn’t interested in moving, so after snapping a few photos, I placed it on my backpack and we cruised away together. …Not sure how long it stayed with me before going its own way.



  2. The squirrels are not eastern chipmunks (which don’t occur in Wyoming). I don’t have my mammal field guide to hand, so can’t ID them, but there seem to be two species. The first and third photos show a squirrel with an eye ring but no facial stripes, while the second photo shows a squirrel with two white and three black facial stripes (and it also seems to be more gracile). That amount of difference between squirrels is, in my experience, unlikely to be individual variation.

  3. My guesses on Cameron Way’s photos from Wyoming:

    1.) Golden mantled ground squirrel
    2.) chipmunk (one the the several western species, not the eastern)
    3.) Golden mantled ground squirrel

    1. According to Wikipedia, there are 4 chipmunk species in WY. I’m not a mammalogist and can’t tell them apart. Probably need to examine the teeth, or something.

      Least Chipmunk, Tamias minimus
      Yellow-pine Chipmunk, Tamias amoenus
      Cliff Chipmunk, Tamias dorsalis
      Uinta Chipmunk, Tamias umbrinus

    2. I think you’re right about 1 and 3 being Golden mantled ground squirrels, Spermophilus lateralis , according to what I can tell from the photos in consultation with the Audubon mammal guide digital app.

  4. I have been told that chipmunks have stripes on their heads, where squirrels do not. Perhaps a useful nugget, if true!

  5. As stated above, Red-tailed Hawk and American Wigeon.

    RTHA: adult, red tail, reddish hood, streaked belly band, and the best – the dark patagial areas at front of wing underside between chest and “wrist.”

    AMWI: male in (probably) eclipse plumage (molting into basic [winter] plumage), blue bill with black tip, streaky gray head with bit of green behind eye and creamy pale crown (hunters call(ed) them “baldpates” in reference to this), black area surrounding tail with white on flank in front of it, rufous flanks and brown back.

    Nice photos.

  6. PCC-

    My usual answer on ‘that middle name’ (Elvis) is ‘my parents were weird’. But my mother hated that answer (not that they were not weird, but that they never named me elvis).

    The truth is, it started as a penis euphemism in my friend circle (as in ‘how’s elvis hanging’). To play on that joke, I bought a big brass ‘elvis’ belt buckle. When asked at work about the belt buckle, I’d say ‘it’s my middle name’, and then started sighing things ‘Karl (Elvis)’.

    When I changed jobs, I just put it on the employment form, and, California laws being such that usage=name change, once my paychecks and 401k said ‘karl elvis’, it became a defacto legal alias.

    Funny how these things turn real.

    1. And now you can get Elvis stamps at your local USPS office!

      I’d like to have Elvis as my middle name…much better than Norman. 😉

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