Readers’ wildlife photos

I hope people aren’t getting jaded at the lovely photos that appear daily. Remember, you’re seeing almost all of them here for the first time. At any rate, here’s another nice set from Doug Hayes in Virginia, whose notes are indented. The title is “The Breakfast Crew: Part 3”, and the lessons are two: get a bird feeder, and do not disdain the fauna in your backyard.

More early morning indoor bird (and mammal) watching photos, all shot from my bathroom window here in Richmond, Virginia.

This male Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) showed up at the suet feeder and had it all to himself – for a few minutes.

Then a Common or European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)showed up.

The arrival of one of the starling’s babies ruined the woodpecker’s morning.

The woodpecker tries to drive the starlings away.

A second baby appears and the woodpecker leaves. The babies began begging for food and mom or dad obliged them with some helpings of suet. A week later, the trio showed up again. This time, when the babies begged, the adult starling ignored them and proceeded to. The babies seemed to figure it out and started eating the suet on their own.

Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) have started coming to the feeders. They normally stick to the more heavily wooded areas of the nearby park. We have had an unusually rainy summer and bushes and trees have grown dense enough for the jays to move closer to the neighborhood. They are skittish birds and usually make quick hit and run raids on the suet feeder, grabbing a chunk and flying away with it. This one decided to hang around a while and gather bits of suet that had fallen to the ground.

When I saw this Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), I thought his head was misshappen. He moved fast so I could not see what was wrong with it through the camera viewfinder.

Looking at the pictures, I saw that this bird was molting, not unlike the cardinal I spotted a few weeks ago. It is missing the feathers at the base of the upper beak and the crown feathers which give the bird an more aerodynamic head shape.

A Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum). Another bird which prefers the more wooded areas and thickets, but are now coming into the neighborhood. When I photographed this one, there were two others in the yard at the same time.

Another one of the three Brown Thrashers, looking a bit scruffy as it is molting. Patches of feathers are missing from the head and base of the tail.

This Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) is a regular visitor. It shows up two or three times a day to scavenge seeds that the birds have dropped from the feeders. This little guy competes with the squirrels and another chipmunk for the goodies. The squirrels sometimes drive him away from choice seed piles. I also saw it get into a high speed tussle and chase with another chipmunk early one morning. It was quite comical, but the light was too low for me to photograph the battle.

A new visitor to the yard, an Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). Rabbits have been scarce around the neighborhood. I have only seen them a couple of times in all the years I have lived in the Forest Hill area. This rabbit showed up a couple of weeks ago, mostly keeping to the far side of the yard. For the past three days, it has been making its way to the area near the bird feeders. This shot was taken in the early morning as the rabbit sat munching clover.

Camera information:  Sony A7R4 digital camera, Sony FE 200-600 zoom lens, monopod camera support and gimbal tripod head.

Here’s a link to a video of various birds (special guest appearance by Phat Fred) visiting the feeders.

Shot with Sony A7R4 in HD full sensor and HD super 35 (cropped sensor) modes, Sony FE 200-600 zoom lens, monopod camera support and gimbal tripod head.


13 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. All of those photos could have come from my own back yard here in Kansas City, Missouri. Same birds, behaviors, and appearance. Chipmunks and rabbits also.

  2. How could anyone be jaded by photos as splendid as these?

    Interesting that your blue jays are skittish. Their cousins out here on the west coast, Steller’s jays, are bold as brass. My wife feeds them peanuts, and we have to keep our screens shut or they’ll come in the house looking for them.

  3. Jaded!!! I could never get jaded with photos like these. One of t(e highlights of visiting this site everyday are the photos. I hope you never run out.

  4. woodpecker tries to drive the starling away – love this shot. The starling look like a rowdy character.

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