Because I’m having trouble braining this morning (I haven’t yet made my latte with three shots of espresso), I’ll eschew the laborious process of making a readers’ wildlife post, and instead present you with two treat videos by reader Tara Tanaka from Florida. The first shows a pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) making a cavity; Tara has a detailed explanation at the Vimeo site. Pileated woodpeckers are amazing; I describe some of their adaptations on pp. 114-115 of Why Evolution is True.
And Tara sent notes on this one, called called “Thanksgiving Morning Bunnies”:
Part of this one is featured in the Windland Awards video that is now on display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for the next year. Look for the cottontails in the background.
Her notes on Vimeo add that this was filmed Thanksgiving morning at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico:
This was shot with a GH4 and Nikon 105mm lens + a GH4 mounted on a Swarovski STX85 spotting scope. The bunnies appear in the background and you can see them out of focus at a distance until I get the scope on them and capture them with 1000mm.
I’m thankful for many things today, but right now I can’t stop smiling after witnessing two bunnies playing a game whose goal, after watching them in slow motion over and over, must be to touch noses while in they are both in mid-air.
I was sitting on the ground and had set up one video camera with a 105mm lens to video Gamble’s Quail in more of a wide-angle shot than my digiscoping gear would allow, and was digiscoping photos with my scope. I looked up from the viewfinder to see two Desert Cottontails playing in the background. I was going to take photos but decided it really needed to be captured on video, so I switched to video and started recording them through the scope. They were not in the focused area of the wide angle camera, but at least the whole scene was captured.
Are they fighting? Trying to mate? Or just playing? Readers with lagomorph expertise should weigh in below.