Readers’ wildlife photos

May 17, 2021 • 8:00 am

Do send in your good wildlife photos, as my need never ceases.

Today’s photos come from Tim Carroll of New York. His captions and IDs are indented, and click on his photos to enlarge them.

I almost went with Rhapsody in Blue, but it sounded a bit pretentious to me.  Besides, I’m more of a Dylan than Gershwin guy.

All of these photos were taken in Central New York over the last year or two.  The blue grosbeak is a real rarity in this part of the state.  The one pictured here was found at the largest active landfill in New York State (400 acres of landfill on a 2600 acres facility according to Wikipedia).  He showed up two summers ago, and was seen constantly attacking his own reflection in the mirrors of heavy equipment and the workers’ vehicles over a period of 2-3 weeks in an apparent attempt to drive off his rivals.  Poor guy.  There were likely no females within miles and miles of this location, so his efforts would have been futile in securing a mate for himself.  The landfill recognized that people wanted to see this bird, and made arrangements for birders to be escorted to the far reaches of the landfill to watch the show.

Some of these were shot in fairly deep shade with high ISO, and are heavily cropped.  The resolution may be subpar, but I think they will be OK for social media needs.

Black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)

Blue grosbeak (Passerina caerulea):

Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata):

Common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula):

Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis):

Great blue heron (Ardea herodias):

Indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea):

Northern parula (Setophaga americana):

Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor):

15 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. So… Tangled up in Blue?

    The grackle photo turned out excellent – that is a challenging bird from which to capture the beautiful almost iridescent sheen from in an average cameraphone shot.

      1. I think you nailed it. According to Words for Birds (a book from 1972) it is derived from graculus, a New Latinism meaning jackdaw, ultimately from a word imitative of the call.

  2. Beautiful photos! It’s amazing to think that the blue in all these birds (I believe) isn’t caused by pigments, but by diffraction by the microstructure of the feathers.

    1. The article is

      American Scientist
      Jan-Feb 1997
      Iridescent Blue Plants
      David W. Lee
      pp. 56-63

      The photos – including of insects – are excellent in it. But it doesn’t help with birds.

  3. Beautiful blues. Sad story about the blue Grossbeak; hopefully he found his way back to his normal range. I don’t know how that works with animals.

    This year we’ve been seeing evening Grossbeaks; they’re everywhere, but I’ve never seen that species around here before. I’ve been trying to get photos, but having trouble with my gear at the moment.

    1. They’ve been reported all around me this spring, but I haven’t seen any yet. I’ve had them at my feeders in early winter the last two years after a 20+ year absence. I hope it’s a sign of good things to come.

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