Readers’ wildlife photos

Please keep sending in your photos. Kind readers obliged me with several batches, so we’re set for a while, but I can always use more.

Today’s photos come from reader Paul Peed, who sent lovely photos of three birds. I’ve indented his captions.

This is the most fascinating bird I regularly encounter in Central Florida.  A diminutive songbird with the habits of a raptor.  This guy attacks prey as large as itself.  The upper cutting edge of its curved beak contains tomial teeth which are used to incapacitate its prey with a quick strike to the spinal cord.  The victim is then carried to a thorn or even barbed wire and skewered for easy dining.  Nickname?  Butcher bird.

JAC: I’ve added a photo of the serrated bill of a loggerhead shrike showing a closeup of the “tomial tooth”, also visible in the photo just above (source for photo below: Ron Dudley at Feathered Photography)
Beautifully camouflaged when hunting amongst the grasses, this guy becomes a glamour shot when finding a perch on fence posts or telephone wires.  On the perch the Meadowlark’s song and bright yellow flash makes a walk in a field all the more beautiful.  Unfortunately, the population is in steep decline.

When I am leading a group of birdwatchers, I always look forward to being able to say, “….and over there is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker”.  The words are always followed by a delightful chuckle as each person tries out the name on his or her tongue.  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Its a good day.

All of these birds were observed winter and early spring 2020 at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park in Sebastian, Florida.  Additional images on are on eBirdInstagram and Facebook.

6 Comments

  1. Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Stunning! The second shot of the meadowlark, especially, is a work of art.

  2. Debra Coplan
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing these stunning photos.
    That black stripe across the eyes of the Loggerhead Shrike makes it look like a it’s capable of some serious business. The tomial tooth looks very efficient.

  3. Posted September 26, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures! The descriptions are also very informative and evocative.

    • Glenda
      Posted September 26, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    These pictures with personal introduction is so much more than what I find in my bird books. I’ve not encountered a loggerhead shrike nor a yellow bellied sapsucker in my personal birding experiences.
    Beautiful pictures.

  5. rickflick
    Posted September 26, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful looks! I just love that second “sappy” leaning toward your camera. It must be saying, “This is my best side.”


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