Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s contribution comes from Paul Peed, whose notes are indented. It was sent in October of last year and I lost it temporarily.

The birds are returning to T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area after a long, hot summer. It is very rewarding to observe species developing from juvenile to immature to adult.
The Night Heron juveniles are fascinating and quite difficult to differentiate. This past October I encountered two Night Heron juveniles roosting on the same branch within 0.5 meters of each other.  One was quite blue and the other quite brown.  Black-crowned Night Herons are frequent visitors to Goodwin.  Yellow-crowned Night Herons are very infrequent visitors and here are juvenile examples of both species roosting together
The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax juvenile is identified by the yellow lower bill.

The Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) juvenile is identified by solid color upper and lower bill.

Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica). One of the most beautiful Goodwin WMA residents is the Purple Gallinule.  It is interesting to watch the colors develop from juvenile to adult.

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Populations vary widely for these guys.  During early summer, many hundreds are resident until late August through early November, when populations at Goodwin dwindle to 100-200.  As winter progresses numbers climb again to several thousand by late spring early summer.  I know little about this species…. perhaps they are so numerous as to be uninteresting to me.  Not a good reason for ignorance.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). Territorial and aggressive males will respond to a recording of another male’s call from a kilometer away.  These guys are stealthy and surprisingly numerous during fall/winter/early-spring seasons at Goodwin. This on was rather proud of his catch

American Coot (Fulica americana). Winter and Spring counts are usually in the 900-1000 range at Goodwin while summer’s heat reduces the counts to 5-10 hearty individuals in a specific 250 square meter area of southern Broadmoor at Goodwin.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Poliopitilia caerulea).  Industrious is a good way of describing the Gnatcatcher.  Constantly flitting about and working their tails to disturb then chase after insects, they seem to be in continual motion.  Oddly, Gnats do not make up a significant portion of their diets.  Hmmmm.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus). This species is an infrequent visitor to Goodwin.  Known for being one of the very few bird species able to eat hairy caterpillars and for having a prodigious appetite for tent caterpillars.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Some of these beautiful pics are breathtaking

  2. Paul Techsupport
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    A note. This winter the population of American Coots has been 1200-3500. A significant increase over the previous 3 winters. Duck, Anatidae species counts have been significantly lower this winter at Goodwin (my counts only).

  3. rickflick
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Great shots. We are watching the spring population shifts here in Idaho as well. Out with the old, in with the new.

  4. Posted March 7, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Lovely photos. Thanks!

  5. Rhett Rothberg
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    How does one email in their wildlife photos?


  6. Posted March 7, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Very good. I wonder how the bittern will handle that catfish, with its erect shoulder spines and all.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    These were a treat, thanks. I need some of them yellow-billed cuckoos…I have an apple tree that gets infested with tent caterpillars every summer. 🐛

  8. Liz
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    The anhinga is especially stunning to me.

  9. Posted March 7, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Lovely collection, Paul. Thanks!

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