Readers’ wildlife photos

I’m running quite low on readers’ photos, and may have to post them less often unless you guys step up to the plate. Fortunately, I have a backlog of “themed” bird photos from evolutionary biologist John Avise, including three sets in this series. John’s IDs and captions are indented:

This little batch of pics could be titled “blacktop backdrop”, with the following comment:  I sometimes like to photograph birds against a solid-color background (such as a blue sky), which can give the picture a “clean” look.  One other such opportunity came about when several birds rather fortuitously perched on sticks that I had placed between my camera and the blacktop driveway leading to my mom’s house.  The first six pictures below thus had a “blacktop backdrop” (the shades vary because of the different natural lighting conditions).  The other photos in this batch were taken from the same back porch but had somewhat busier, mostly green backgrounds.  All of these avian portraits are from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula):

Rose-breasted Grosbeak adult male (Pheucticus ludovicianus):

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak juvenile male:

Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus):

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus):

Purple finch male (Carpodacus purpureus):

Chipping Sparrow juvenile (Spizella passerina):

Baltimore Oriole male (Icterus galbula);

Baltimore Oriole female:

Northern Cardinal female (Cardinalis cardinalis):

American Goldfinch female (Carduelis tristis):

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis):


  1. GBJames
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I especially love the Baltimore Oriole.

  2. rickflick
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    All these backgrounds work well to isolate the subject. Probably the biggest problem with bird shots generally is a too busy background which is a distraction. Well done. Thanks.

  3. David Fuqua
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Great pix!

  4. Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Nice photos! Is that a suet-log in the goldfinch photo?

  5. Leo Glenn
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos. Thanks!

  6. Paul Matthews
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Nice photos!

    The grackle is presumably a very young bird: eye isn’t yellow, relatively short tail, bill seems shorter and thicker than an adult’s. A good photo for a bird-id quiz!

  7. wonderer
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I see ducklings on Botany Pond.

    • JezGrove
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Yup, I couldn’t count them but looked like 8 or 9!

      • wonderer
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Sounds about right. From my brief glimpse they looked healthy. (or at least speedy)

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I counted 8 just two minutes ago. Hard to say though, they are really small on screen.

      • JezGrove
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Small on screen, and they move about very quickly mingling in and out of the group of siblings!

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Jerry is there, feeding the ducks now.

      • Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        He must be cold and damp by now. It must be hard to leave them, with all those drakes around. It isn’t easy being a duck farmer!

      • Mark R.
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        He’s out there with his super-soaker right now, spraying the mischievous drakes and speaking with a lady onlooker.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Nice shots. Does the rose-color Grosbeak female actually have blue feet? Might be the light.

  9. Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Exquisite work, John Avise!

  10. Andrea Kenner
    Posted May 8, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photos!

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