Readers’ wildlife photos

Keep sending in those photos, folks, as the tank is never completely full.

Today’s bird pictures are part of Doug Hayes’s “The Breakfast Club” series, all photographed at his feeder in Richmond, Virginia. Doug’s notes and IDs are indented:

Most of the breakfast crew is still visiting the backyard here in Richmond, Virginia as Fall weather settles in. Only the ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) seem to be gone, probably having started their annual migration south to Florida, Mexico and Central America where they winter.

House sparrows (Passer domesticus) have nearly displaced the house finches as the most numerous birds at the feeders. When not eating, they hang out in the azalea bush in our front yard. Sometimes dozens of them can be seen hiding in the foliage. It was misting rain when I shot this photo. The white specks in the background are raindrops frozen by the fast shutter speed.

A male house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). They gather at the feeder and tend to stick around for long periods, eating and just hanging out until another bird drives them away.

A European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). I’m not seeing as many starlings right now as I was during the summer. As food becomes scarce, they will probably return.

A downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). There are at least four males who visit the feeders regularly, sometimes chasing each other around the yard when two of them show up at the same time.

A Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) gets into the act.

Male Northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) are especially active right now. They chase each other all day long, staking out territory and trying to attract females for the next breeding season. This one was perched in the pomegranate tree watching out for intruders.

A Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) grabbing some suet.

This Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) ate his fill, then just perched, enjoying the midday sun for well over 20 minutes

A white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) snagging a sunflower seed from the feeder.

A pair of house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) just hanging out at the feeder. If things are quiet around the yard, the finches will just perch, eating leisurely for several minutes.

A brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum). I’m not seeing as many of these right now. Some thrashers migrate, but others stay in the same area year round.

A house sparrow (Passer domesticus) at the feeder.

Nothing can stop the Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) when they locate an easy food source. Nerf darts and water guns don’t faze them now. If they spot me while eating, they will pause and stare back at me. They seem to know that they won’t be harmed, then go right back to eating.

A few weeks ago, the dogs were showing interest in the box housing our generator. When I went out the see what was going on, a little head poked out of one of the openings in the base. An Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) has made a home or food cache inside the base of the generator. Fortunately, the little critter can’t get to the actual generator or the wiring as the base is a box containing a second sealed box that houses the generator and wiring. There are four openings in the corners of the base that the chipmunk uses to get in and out. I plan on sending a flashlight and GoPro into the base to check things out. Stay tuned!

Camera info:  Sony A7R4 and A7S3 DSLR bodies, Sony FE 200-600 zoom lens plus 1.4X teleconverter, all shots hand held (camera body and lens image stabilization on).

9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. “The white specks in the background are raindrops frozen by the fast shutter speed.”

    A particularly powerful detail – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such an effect before – cone to think of it, a slow-motion of mist might be mesmerizing…

Leave a Reply