Readers’ wildlife photos

July 4, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today is Sunday, and that means that we have a themed bird post from biologist John Avise. Today’s theme is related to last week’s, but read on:

Birds with other Animal Prey

In last Sunday’s post (here), I highlighted piscivorous (fish-eating) birds and their piscine prey.  Insectivorous and other carnivorous birds likewise spend much of their time in search of prey, so it might seem surprising that photographs of them with their captured items are rather uncommon.  Part of the explanation is that prey typically are swallowed very quickly after capture.  Nevertheless, every once in a while a photograph reveals what a bird is soon to eat.  The following photographs show a diversity of birds with non-piscine prey that they have captured and will consume.  Except where otherwise noted, all of these photos were taken in southern California.

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) with lizard:

Hispaniolan lizard-Cuckoo (Coccyzus longirostris) with lizard

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) with lizard:

Greater Roadrunner with avian chick:

Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) with rodent:

Red-tailed Hawk with Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura):

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) with partially eaten pocket gopher:

Green Heron (Butorides virescens) with frog:

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) with rabbit:

Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) with octopus:

Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) (with Praying Mantis (Panama):

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) with mussel (Norway):

Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) with mole crab (Emerita sp.):

Willet with an oyster:

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) with mole crab:

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Fantastic breakfast photos, especially the cuckoos and roadrunners! I had to go listen to Bo Diddley’s “Roadrunner” because of them. Really great stuff.

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