Readers’ wildlife photos

July 3, 2018 • 7:30 am

Reader Andrée Sanborn sent another batch of her photos, this one called “no moths”. But I’m adding a moth. Andrée’s caption are indented. Her sites are these:

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii); Northeast Vermont; August 11, 2017.  Lucy the Yellow Lab and I returned to May Pond one evening to retake some plant photos. On our way down May Pond Road, we saw this hawk sitting in the road, near the ditch. The car didn’t bother it. Worried that it was injured, I stopped, locked up Lucy, grabbed the camera, and approached it. It still didn’t move and obviously was not hurt. It had its kill under it. The birds in the woods were grieving. I got even closer and still it didn’t move, simply posed for me. Finally, another car came by and it flew off with its kill.

Woodland jumping mouse (Napaeozapus insignis), northeast Vermont; August 29, 2017. My students, on a bug hunt, found this baby jumping mouse in the woods at school, and I made sure they returned it where they found it. It was close to the size of the jumping mice my cats bring home. [JAC note: Wikipedia says this tiny critter can jump up to 3 meters!]

American black bear (Ursus americanus) probably male, northeast Vermont; 7:30 AM; August 3, 2017. The bear we had on this morning last August was not small. Husband John never gave me a weight estimate but he did say it stood about 7 feet tall on two legs. And the paws and head were huge. It was snuffling up all the chokecherries on our favorite chokecherry tree. It is always a highly productive cherry tree and the perfect height for picking. Every year we find bear scat under it, but they usually come at night. This bear,  sitting on its rump, pulled branches down with both paws and then literally vacuumed the cherries all off. I had to keep a close eye on Lucy the Yellow Lab (she totally and completely hates bears, won’t chase them, but will try to run them off), we did not go for a walk far from the house, and stayed away from fruit and water. Staying away from fruit and water is like impossible here. There are dozens of black, pin, and choke cherry trees and 3 brooks.

Mustard White (Pieris oleracea), northeast Vermont; May 21, 2017.  This is special; it is a declining species in most of its range except for Vermont; it is rated uncommon. I am so fortunate to be in a spot where they are abundant. They are beautiful fliers that look like apple blossoms in the air. This day we persuaded them to puddle in some dirt we had wet down. Their decline may be because of invasive plants and also because of an invasive butterfly, the cabbage white. They coexist here on our land. If you are interested in this, you may want to read the Vermont Atlas of Life post about their status. In the top photo, I managed to get an upside down one.

And here we do have a moth, from reader Winnie in Hong Kong. These two individuals, with slightly different markings, landed on her window, and her attempts to identify them by looking at photos of local moths have failed. Can readers help?

24 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Winnie won’t find that in a moth guide because it’s in the order Hemiptera. It looks like it is in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, which includes things like cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, and a number of other planthopper families.

      1. I wrote my comment below before seeing the preceding comments, and was heretofore ignorant of such creatures, which I, too, would have identified as a moth. After reading the comments and doing oing a Google search, I think that your identification is correct: – a rather tattered specimen, but it looks remarkably close to the first beastie.

  2. How nice of that hawk to pose for you, and with a cock of the head that a professional photographer would have to coax out of a human. Love the mouse, too. I think the bear just wanted to enjoy a sit-down dinner. Lovely description of the Mustard Whites – like apple blossoms fluttering in the wind (you could probably get a haiku out of your description).

    And what are those moths? Hope someone identifies them. They’re cute, if one can call moths cute.

    1. @Andrée Sanborn — In fact, I think every animal in your collection above could be the subject of a haiku.

  3. Great pics and lovely narrative. Gorgeous hawk pic. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a jumping mouse. Very cool. That back foot looks a lot like that of a kangaroo

    1. The jumping mice are a dilemma for the cats. They are harder to catch and meaner. In a series of rapid burst shots, I got a capture from a cat once and the mouse was able to kick and bite the mouth of the cat. A few of my cats would never catch them. My cat now seems, though, to specialize in them.

  4. Nice post, but that’s an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, not a Coop.
    This is based on experience of handling hundreds of the two species and observing tens of thousands of each species.
    The dark cap is riding too low on the crown and extends down the neck. A Coop would have a cap sitting high and cutting off at the back.
    Also the outer tail feathers are visible on the ground, and they are same length as the inner feathers. A Coop would have shorter outer tail feathers… you bird does not.
    Nice Sharpie though.

    1. I think you’re right. We have lots of Coopers around my place, and they don’t look like that.

  5. What a great opportunity that hawk offered you and you certainly took full advantage of it! Beautiful! (I should have caught the fact that it was a Sharpie, but didn’t–don’t feel like the Lone Ranger on that one…)

    Wow, impressive bear! I’d be so afraid for my dogs around bear–but then we’ve got coyotes here, and they might actually be the worse threat (depending on the size of the dog, of course).

    That Mustard White is such a beautiful species–so glad to learn about it. That article was particularly interesting in what it said about the larvae being unable to develop on those invasive weed species, while the Cabbage White can. I imagine someone is looking into the whys of that.

    Oh, and I just love jumping mice! We have them here but I almost never see them…thanks for sending all these in, Andrée.

    “…it’s in the order Hemiptera.” *scrolls up to have another look*…thanks for the duh! moment, Greg and Mark. 😀 Pretty little thing…

    1. Thank you, Diane. I am very worried about the bears, bobcats, and coyotes and Lucy. She never makes contact with the wildlife, she simply reports on them and expresses her displeasure (or hate: she hates bears). Once, when my husband was doing some logging, she body-shoved him while he was working a chainsaw. Lucy knows that is not allowed and that she is to keep watch from a distance. So John figured something was up, turned, and a bear was approaching. Lucy put herself between the bear and John. As soon as John knew the bear was there, Lucy ran it off. As soon as it ran off, Lucy abandoned her post and returned to the house to rest.

      1. Wow.

        As my daughter & I frequently find cause to say, we don’t deserve to have dogs.

        Is Lucy’s behavior trained or just her nature?

        1. Both. She seems to have been born with a Lab’s instinct to care for others. But with some things: like chainsaws, trees that are being felled, insect hunts, getting off the bed when sheets are changed, not catching wildlife — she was taught. We are very lucky (undeservingly,as you say) because she can be told just once, in English, and she remembers forever. She will break the rules, like with the bear, if the danger demands. And I hope Dr. Coyne forgives, but I can’t overcome my desire to share: Lucy at 10 weeks after her first insect hunt with me in the woods:

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