Readers’ wildlife photos

June 15, 2018 • 8:00 am

Stephen Barnard in Idaho weighs in with some diverse and lovely pictures from Idaho (I especially like the swallows and the heron being harassed). His notes are indented.

Two species of kingbirds in the same day. A Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis), showing off his yellow breast in early morning light. An Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus), less flashy but debonaire. Both species are bold and feisty. They typically occupy a conspicuous perch, daring lesser birds to approach. They aren’t called kingbirds for nothing.

Meanwhile, the American kestrels (Falco sparverius) are breeding, though the chicks remain hidden in the nest box:

It gets bloody. Natasha appears to have prepped this rodent for the chicks.

A few more photos of Natasha, the female American Kestrel. In the first photo Boris had just brought her a freshly killed vole.

Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius) harassing a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis):

Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) feeding over the creek:

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus):

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). In the second photo it’s being harassed by a Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus):

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis):

Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni):

26 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Those birds are hovering? Making divots in the water? How cool is that – for its own sake and the photography

  2. Beautiful, as alway. The tree swift and the heron harassment most especially. And I do love a kingbird. Tyrannidae is a wonderful family, especially their common family name, the Tyrant Flycatchers. They are especially active at Kauffman Stadium during Royals night games, and considering how poorly KC is playing, the birds are more entertaining than the baseball.

  3. Red wing blackbirds are omnipresent on my walks because they’re always up there on the power lines lookin down on me chippin at me the whole time lol. I can hear them now… chip… chip chip… chip… chip chip chip chip…

    1. I wonder if it’s because they like hay fields or something. Lots of hay fields and corn fields around here.

    2. They’re judging me aren’t they. Looking down on me… judging me… chip… chip chip chip… suddenly I’m in an Edgar Allen Poe story… chip… chip chip… chip…

  4. All of them a feast, but the tree swallows fantastic

    How you do it? luck? Cropped frame off a video recording?

  5. Simply amazing. I wonder if kestrel mom skins the prey now for the chicks to de-flesh themselves. They gotta learn sometime..

  6. Absolutely wonderful Stephen. I’m trying to pick my favourites, but I keep thinking, “I can’t leave that one off the list,” so it’s rather long! Come to think of it, that’s pretty much always the way with your pics.

  7. Wonderful. All these species I have seen locally, but so far no good pics or videos. I’m still trying.

  8. Great photos, you do live in a special area. Last spring we saw hundreds of migrating Tree Swallows feeding over a wetland pond, themselves looking like a cloud of insects. Such graceful birds.

  9. Thank you, Stephen, for these. This is the first time I have seen confirmed what we have observed: red-wings harassing herons. In the bog here, the red-wings, during nesting season, forbid herons from coming to fish and mob them. As soon as the red-wings leave in August, though, the herons return. I told a woman from Michigan, who claimed to be a park ranger there, about this and she said it could have never happened. Thanks, again!

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