Readers’ wildlife photos

July 12, 2021 • 8:00 am

We are in serious trouble with the wildlife photos. I have about six contributions in the tank, but some are singletons or just a few photos. Please send me any good photos you have ASAP. Thanks!

Today we have photos from two contributors. Their captions and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Our first contributor is James Blilie:

I am not the wildlife photographer in the family; but I got this one this morning (this was sent in March). A White-tailed Deer doe (Odocoileus virginianus).  She was casually walking along the edge of the pond behind our house eating willow leaves and other leaves. She was completely unconcerned with my movements 150 feet or so away.

Here is a dragonfly (species unknown) waiting on our Columbine plant for the sun to warm it up.

Seven (7) Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) on the “Turtle Island” I recently installed (anchored) in out pond behind our house.  This is the third version of Turtle Island I’ve launched (the previous two eventually sank – Minnesota is hard on floating objects). I think I have it down now:  The floats are garden kneeling pads which appear to be polyurethane foam.  Gentle ramps on all sides for easy access.  We enjoy watching the turtles basking in the sun.  We have also seen Spiny Softshell Turtles (Apalone spinifera) in our pond and common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are also very common.

Equipment:  Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III; LUMIX G X VARIO LENS, 12-35MM, F2.8 ASPH

Our second contributor is Art Williams:

Here are some shots of a bedraggled red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) that frequents the neighborhood. I hear him squawking nearly every morning and finally was able to get some decent photos. He was perched on a frequently visited dead pine tree, holding his left claw in a weird posture. When he took off, you could see his missing tail and flight feathers, as if he’d had a really rough week. I kinda feel for the guy ( I think it’s a male due to the smaller stature), with his sore feet and bedraggled appearance; hits a little too close to home.

I threw in a random shot of a Northern mockingbird (Minus polyglottos) in flight, leaping from a dense, tangled stage that seemed to amplify her mid-morning glottic reverie. They’re known to be very aggressive, mobbing cats, hawks and even postmen. I wonder if this one was off to harry the hawk.

The fawn of a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was left on its own by a hungry doe as is prescribed by their DNA. The little guy curled up in our day lily (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus) outcropping, beside a well-traveled suburban street, and no one was the wiser.

14 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

      1. It looks like Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura). The large dark patch at the base of the hindwing is apparently diagnostic for Common among the baskettails.

        My favourite dragonfly guide is “Dragonflies of the North Woods” by Kurt Mead, even though I don’t live in the area (almost all our species occur in the North Woods and vice versa, though). The guide covers Northern Minnesota. Not sure whether that includes St. Paul but I imagine it would be pretty hard in practice to find a dragonfly there that wasn’t in the book. Just in case you’re interested. Of course these days more and more people are using the Internet to identify the critters in their photos. I hear good things about Inaturalist though I haven’t tried it myself.

        Love the deer shot. Hmm, wonder whether the hawk was in some altercation that left him or her the worse for wear. Hope it’s just moult but that doesn’t explain the foot.

  1. And I thought I wanted to be reincarnated as a hawk! Still, those 200 mph dives have to be great fun.
    The mocker outside our house running full-throated through his endless songbook never fails to make me laugh. How is all that variety packed into his tiny brain?

    1. Yes, very nice floating platform you made for the turtles! And not all gardening kneeling pads hold up under weather conditions or use, so some thought had to be given to that, too.

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