Readers’ wildlife photos

February 19, 2017 • 7:45 am
Remember to send in your photos, or I’ll run out within a week!  Reader Tim Garrett sent some of his local wildlife, but we should never neglect those plants and animals that live close to humans! Tim’s notes and IDs are indented:
My wildlife photos are mostly of the backyard variety but we have a good mix of native eastern Missouri types. We live just up the bluff from a good size tributary of the Mississippi River named the Meramac River. It actually defines the southern border of St. Louis county. Here are some of my favorite ones:
There was an eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) who lived under some concrete steps. We called him “Chip,” of course.
He would stuff his face with seeds:


We hadn’t seen him since last summer. I think a red tail hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) got him. I don’t have a good picture of culprit yet. The hawk has killed and eaten one of my female cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). Here’s one of the three male Northern Cardinals that hang out in my yard watching the feeder:


The closest thing to a dinosaur walking through my yard is this female wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).


We have some eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) that are occasionally here. They are the state bird of Missouri and are on our car’s license plate:


We have all manner of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) passing through. Here, a female with her two fawns who both decided to get a drink at the same time. The fawns are likely male and female and just losing their camouflage spots:


I think this is a gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor). He and his buddies get very loud in the spring:


We have hummingbirds in the summer. I’m still learning how to photograph them. I think this is a immature male ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). It might be a female?


We have five-lined skinks (Plestiodon fasciatus) all around our property. The immature ones have bright blue tail. This guy was hiding in a basement window well:


Finally, an immature  Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) on my front porch. I love how it’s looking over its shoulder at me. Wikipedia says the praying mantis is the only insect with this extra degree of freedom:


14 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very nice look at Missouri wildlife. I have lived around the edges of the state without living in it and see many of the same.

  2. A great line up! I would be thrilled to find those skinks. It is always nice to hear the chorus of the tree frogs, early in the Spring, as a promise of the better weather to come. Although there usually is more snow before we are done this year.

    1. When my parents failed to properly cover their backyard swimming pool one year, the tree frogs turned it into their private
      sex den. This was no”chorus”, it was a deafening roar of furious copulation. It put Hefner’s grotto to shame. And the end result was a glorious glut of eggs, then tadpoles, followed by invertebrate predators; quite frankly I’ve never enjoyed the pool so much! If it were up to me, I’d have left it that way every year. And of course the yard was soon a wonderland of tiny froglets; the forest was re-frogged. I took full ownership, seeing them as my children, “my” tree frogs. Swimming pools, those dull, sterile, chlorine-poisoned abominations are wasted on humans. Leave out the chemicals and it soon becomes riotous with life. If only the toads could have reached it too…

      1. I absolutely agree! I would have really enjoyed that.
        Now if we can only get over this silly idea that we have to mow our lawns, or at the least that dandelions are weeds. My yard would be a far more interesting place.

  3. Wonderful photos! Agreed with the other commenter who likes dandelions. They make a very fine wine, among other useful things! I especially like that colorful skink.

  4. I wish we had Mantids in GB ,there is a species that gets as far north as Paris .
    I have only seen one in the wild .
    Looking out my Motel window at Niagara Falls i saw one on the balcony ,took a couple of photos .

    1. I sent Jerry some photos of Sparrowhawks that i took through my kitchen window ,either he didn’t get them ,doesn’t think they are much good or i have offended him in some way .

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