Readers’ wildlife photos

July 1, 2021 • 8:00 am

Send in your good wildlife/street/travel photos, please.!

Today’s batch of bird photos comes from Paul Edelman, a professor of law and mathematics at Vanderbilt University. His captions and IDs are indented; click on the photos to enlarge them.

Here are some more photos.  As before they are taken with a Nikon D500 camera and a Nikkor 500mm f5.6 lens. Nashville is fortunate to have a large number of parks/preserves close to the city and all of these photos were taken within 20 minutes of downtown.  


The first three photos are from Shelby Bottoms Park, in East Nashville along the Cumberland River.  We (my wife Suzanna and I) first spotted this female wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) grazing along the edge of a marsh and then noticed that its young were following along behind it. The babies were small but one poked its head up to give me a shot. 

Also in the Shelby Bottoms grassland we spotted this red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).  This is either a female or a juvenile male. The books say that the juvenile male is distinguished by some orange coloration on the shoulder which seems to me to be present, but your readers may think otherwise and I have certainly been wrong before about this!

In Radnor Lake (my favorite haunt for birding in the city) has been quiet but with a little patience the “locals” will still make themselves available.  The prothonotary warblers (Protonotaria citrea) nest in the area and are happy to preen in front of an aspiring photographer.

The indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea)  is generally less cooperative, but in the early morning likes to sit in the open and sing.

The least cooperative of all of them is the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) which is quite shy and likes to lurk in the leaves.  Their call is quite distinctive and we heard a pair of them talking to each other. After a bit of a wait this one came into the open long enough to get a picture.

6 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Great cuckoo photo. I can concur with their being uncooperative! I’ve hear their calls for years but only last year finally saw one, high up in a sycamore. I love having a pair of them on my property but I’ll never get such a clear picture.

  2. The cuckoo is a stunner. The turkey is a stunner but just in a different (make that “way different”) way.

  3. These were vibrant and enjoyable. I like the cuckoo’s circles on the underside of its tail and wonder if the same pattern is on the top.

  4. Great photos, Prof. Edelman. Indigo Buntings are among my favourite birds. That warbler is so lovely, and I’d never seen a cuckoo well enough to notice the white markings on the underside of the tail.

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