Readers’ wildlife photos

October 8, 2018 • 8:00 am

Reader Tim Anderson, who lives in Cowra, southeastern Australia sent some lovely parrot photos (he adds that there’s a poem about his region by Banjo Patterson).

Attached are pictures of Superb Parrots (Polytelis swainsonii), which are currently visiting my neighborhood. This species is somewhat endangered in this area, as land clearing has reduced the number of old trees with suitable nesting holes.

Nevertheless, this is a Superior Bird, as you can tell from its name. It does not associate with other, less well-endowed species, and when it deigns to speak at all, it converses only in Latin.


A landscape and a mammal from Stephen Barnard in Idaho:

The oddly shaped peak in the far background is called Queen’s Crown. I don’t know where it got the name, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t from Game of Thrones. 🙂 It may have something to do with Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet, but that may be asking too much from rural Idaho.

And a striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). [JAC: Stephen adds that it was ambling fearlessly along the path, munching on worms, and was wet because it had recently rained. That is one fat mustelid!]

16 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. These, Mr Anderson / Mr Barnard, are gorgeous !

    All make m’Monday morning – commencement … … gooood !


  2. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a skunk running across a ountry road. Running! I’ve never seen a skunk run & it looked funny because of it’s little rotund body.

  3. From the HWY 20 side, looking south-west up Picabo Hill to the vertical volcanic tuff of the “Queen’s Crown” at the top:
    I suppose it’s named for the generic shape of a royal tiara ~ eg below is the King George III Fringeworn by the Queen & Princess Anne at their respective weddings:

    1. Sounds likely to me. We have a local landmark called Lizard’s Butte which has slowly changed due to erosion. A long time resident says it looked much more like a lizard when he first arrived. Someday it may have to be renamed.

      1. I’ve put a picture in this post. Old timers eh? They also say cops are very young compared to 50 years ago & food isn’t a patch on what it tasted [taste being 90% about aroma] like in the good old days of TB & lynchings. 🙂

        By “Lizard’s Butte” I take it you mean “Lizard Butte” near Marsing? The lizard with the offensive, huge white cross planted on its head by evangelical faithtards? According to the USGS it’s an “erosional remnant of an inner crater-wall basaltic spatter layer” & basalt has a MOHS of 6 [glass will not scratch it, but a steel file will]. The basalt is the black stuff in the picture below – perhaps the softer rock & vegetation colouring has changed in 50 years – thus maybe the shape of the foreleg is less clear? I looked at a bunch of photo’s & the lizard’s leg is highly variable depending on season, light & angle. But my favoured hypothesis is old timer’s disease until I’ve seen old colour photographs that say different 🙂

        1. Well, I’ve only been here for 6 months so I can’t say for sure. But it looks to me like he could be right about the gradual change. The weathering erodes the softer light layer underneath the edge of the basalt and makes it prone to collapse. I should really go up there and inspect it for myself. You are right about the cross being offensive. It mars the otherwise interesting geology. (I was told the site is owned by a private group. Probably a local asylum church.)

  4. Lovely photos of Superb Parrots and the trees they are feeding on. What are the trees? Elms? Why do they not rate identification as does the parrot? Excellent example of plant blindness!

    1. As an (ex)forester, I’m certainly not blind to trees. But elms are exotics in Australia and as such are rated as weeds.

  5. I’m delighted at all these shots. I’m wondering if the parot’s environment could be improved by providing artificial nesting sites to replace the lost trees?

  6. Sacre bleu! Un skunk de pew avec le odeur monumental! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!


    I’ve been watching some old Looney Tunes lately.

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