Readers’ wildlife photographs

August 30, 2015 • 7:30 am

We start today with a bird that Stephen Barnard photographed in his hand. The explanation:

Immature male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas). He stunned himself by flying into a window. After I snapped the photo he seemed OK.


And Joe McClain from Williamsburg, Virginia, sent some animal “selfies” as well as a picture of his son doing field work:

You remember the pictures I send of my son Jake trapping kestrels on the Eastern Shore? After he got his degree at William & Mary, he enrolled in a graduate biology program at the University of Arkansas, studying with David Krementz. Jake is still trapping birds, but now he’s after bobwhite quail [Colinus viginianus]. His current project involves studying the effect of mesopredators on quail populations in an area of Missouri.

He traps and bands the quail. There’s a Jake and Colinus virginianus selfie and a couple of other quail photos. He sometimes gets other birds in the live trap. It’s something to see the beautiful pattern on these birds close-up.




Mesopredators are what we call “varmints” back home — coyotes, raccoons, possums and the like. They love eggs and can make a serious dent in the quail population. To track the activity of the varmints — I mean mesopredators — Jake has set up a series of game cameras. He has collected a set of interesting field candids of mesopredators and bycatch. I am particularly fond of the color ones, especially the shot showing the stealthy, single-file approach of the three Procyon lotor.

Other photos show a fox, a bobcat, possums, and an armadillo. Some turkeys wandered into the shot and there’s also a young buck photobomber.


My beautiful picture



8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. We see these in our neck of the woods too, but always at a considerable (safe) distance. It’s nice to get a closer look.

  2. Outstanding pictures and work on display today. The Yellowthroat seems to be very much like the wren although other warblers are close to it.

    The job being done by Jake McClain on the Bobwhite Quail is very interesting to me here in southwest Iowa. For years the Bobwhite was thee bird in this area and they were everywhere. Now, along with the pheasants there are not many at all. Several possibilities are guessed but the real cause I have not heard. Some have named the turkey as the problem because we did not have turkey here until the conservation and game agencies brought them in. Others think the increase in predator birds is the reason.

  3. Correction: Jake points out that the varmints I identified as foxes are in fact coyotes. My error, not Jake’s or Jerry’s.

  4. I have no doubt that a mineral-hungry deer would eat bird eggs, or even young birds (I saw a video showing this behavior)- back in the late seventies, I lived in N.E. Missouri and we had several BRUTAL winters with heavy snow cover with a top coating of ice accompanied by sub-zero temps; not a good scenario for quail. One winter wiped out most of the quail population. I read a story later that, in the middle of the winter, researchers went out to trap quail to see if they were getting enough to eat to survive: imagine their surprise and distress to find that they were so weak one could catch them by hand! Not one that they caught a anything at all in its stomach. Those were the winters when you could see 50-100 wild turkeys in a flock, desperately trying to find something to eat in the thin patch of grass exposed by the snowplows at the edge of the highways.

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