Readers’ wildlife videos

April 3, 2020 • 8:00 am

Tara Tanaka has been isolating herself in her wildlife blind on her wetland property in Florida, and we are the beneficiaries: she sent two new videos. (Tara’s Vimeo page is here and her Flickr page here.)

Be sure to enlarge these before watching.

I’ll put her descriptions of the videos in indented text.  First we see a lovely wood duck hen, or “woody” as they call them (Aix sponsa), in a video called “They just tuck their wings and fly right through the hole!” (Tara and her husband have erected a number of wood duck nesting boxes, from which the newly-hatched ducklings leap down to the water on the day of hatching.)

I’ve heard this for years – but here is the way that hen Wood Ducks enter a box or cavity – every time.


In this one, a red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) eats an individual of Amphiuma (a genus of aquatic salamanders):

The water level in our swamp is dropping very fast, and some wildlife, including fish, tadpoles and amphiumas (a type of salamander) are getting stranded in drying pools. This Red-shouldered Hawk has discovered that if it perches in a cypress tree that overlooks one of these areas, he can find easy meals.

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife videos

  1. Red-winged blackbird call at 00:11 in the first video. You can tell the red-winged blackbird because it sounds like an insane person playing the flute.

  2. The Amphiuma (there are three species of them in the southeastern U.S.) is a nearly-legless salamander that has about 28 times as much DNA per cell as we do. It may be the champion among tetrapods. Amphiumas are either a great argument for the existence of junk DNA, or they are far more sophisticated organisms than we are.

  3. The slo-mo gives us a good look at how well the woody can hit the target. I can imagine millions of years ago the prototype woodies missing a few times before getting it right. 😎

    The red shoulder on the red-shouldered hawk is clearly visible. Good way to ID this bird.

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