Readers’ wildlife photos

Bring out your photos! There’s always a need for more.

Today we have two contributors from different continents. First, Liz Strahle from the U.S. shows us some bird photos (all captions by readers are indented):

Attached are some wildlife photographs I took in the last month or so. These are all in New Jersey. I have seen a common merganser or two before. After some of the streets became quiet in the middle of March, I saw more common mergansers than I had ever seen before on a lake nearby. It was an incredible sight for me. It looks like there are 29 in the second to last photograph.

Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus):

Rock Pigeon (Columba livia):

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis):

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous):

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus):

Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser):

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura):

And we have an astronomy photo from Tim Anderson, who lives in Australia:

NGC3766 is an open star cluster deep in the southern skies (it isn’t visible at all until you are further south than 29 degrees North latitude). The cluster was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751. It is a relatively young, with an age estimated at 14.4 million years, and is approaching the solar system at 14.8 kilometres per second. But since it’s 1745 parsecs away, we have more important things to worry about.

The image comprises 120 subframes taken using:

Skywatcher EQ8 mount
ASI071MC Pro camera
100mm Skywatcher Esprit refractor
Processed with Nebulosity and Photoshop

Hires version here. 


  1. Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Nice photos, thanks!

  2. Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Wonderful photos, Liz and Tim.

    It’ll be quite a change for the critters when meat-space ramps up again. It would be great if there could be a happy medium.

    • Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I’m pleased to add that ‘my’ pair of Mallards returned a few weeks ago, and have been strutting their stuff even out on our driveway.

  3. Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Nice pics. The “Killdeer” doesn’t look like it would be capable of such an act. With “vociferous” in its Latin name, perhaps its song is really loud or especially obnoxious? LOL

  4. Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Very nice! Thank you for sharing. The red tailed hawk picture is definitive — no doubt about that tail!

  5. rickflick
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The hooded mergansers is a really great bird. Unfortunately, I have rarely seen then and never at close range.
    Thanks for contributing.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Great photos. I’ve seen a lot of red-tailed hawk photos, but I almost never see their red tail- you caught it beautifully.

    All those starts are breathtaking. I’m reminded of a quote by Brian May (guitarist for Queen who is an amateur astronomer): “Astronomy’s a lot more fun when you’re not an astronomer.”

  7. Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    The Killdeere is my favorite.

  8. blessedreams
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Excellent photos! Which galaxy does this open star cluster belong to?

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