Readers’ wildlife photos

July 16, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today’s photos come from young Jamie Blilie, but the captions and IDs (indented) are from his father Jim. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Here’s another batch from my son, Jamie, the real wildlife photographer in the family. All of these are taken from our yard or within a couple of miles of our house. In the linden tree directly behind our house, (Tilia americana), Jamie captured male and female Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), a Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) – tough job for the camera’s AF! and a Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).  Not all at the same time of course.  Cooper’s Hawks are frequent visitors, probably attracted by the heavy bird traffic behind our house.  I have seen Cooper’s Hawks take Robins (Turdus migratorius)and Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) over our back yard.

Male cardinal:

Female cardinal:

Cooper’s Hawk:


Next, we have a turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), taken in our back yard.  Turkeys have become very numerous and aggressive in our area.  I never saw a (wild) turkey until the 2000s.  They have really made a comeback.

Next is our resident Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), taken this spring.  You can still see some hunksof ice on the pond.  We see him motoring around our pond nearly every day. He is a very endearing animal.

Next are some birds taken at a very nearby lake (Lake Vadnais) where Jamie likes to go fishing in the summer.  First three shots of Common Loons (Gavia immer).  An adult breeding pair and one baby loon.  In one shot, one of the adults is giving the crouching posture, which is sometimes a prelude to the “yodeling” call.  In another of the shots, the two adults are offering food to the baby.

Also at Lake Vadnais, some shots of one of your favorite birds:  Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). One mother with a nearly-grown brood of youngsters.  In the other shot, a mother providing shade for her duckling.

Finally, our home beast Rascal (Felis catus), relaxing in spring sunshine. He is a very old beast, 14 or 15 years.  But still going strong.

Jamie’s equipment:  Nikon D5600, Sigma 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM

13 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. I’m thinking of getting the Canon version of the Sigma 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM lens.

    What has your experience with this lens been ?

    1. When I still used DSLR gear (I am m4/3 now), I have the earlier 150-500. I loved it. Crisp, excellent and fast AF, no flare issues (didn’t need the lens hood) and really good in-lens IS.

      I would say Jamie’s newer one is the same. An excellent lens. You’d have to spend a lot of money on a Canon L to beat the IQ (IMO).

  2. Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing. I love those top two photos of the male and female cardinal.

  3. Very lovely photos.

    I must ruefully report that modern culture has poisoned me, because when I read “tough job for the camera’s AF!” my immediate reaction was to think that the writer was being quasi-profane about just how difficult the job was.

  4. The cardinals, particularly the female, look self-satisfied about something. The turkey, poor thing, will never be the belle of the ball, but more power to them for making a comeback. How can cats look so angelic when they sleep!

  5. Hi, Dr. Coyne!

    I very much admire your work defending the theory of evolution.

    Relatedly, I have a question. I would like to help people understand the arguments you present in WEIT, and to solidify my own understanding of those arguments. To those ends, I’m considering starting a public blog for the purpose of visually mapping out the arguments you make in WEIT, like I would do with a philosophical argument. (“Argument mapping” is a common critical thinking technique taught in university reasoning courses.)

    However, for moral reasons, I feel I should ask for your explicit permission to do this before undertaking it. WEIT is the work of your mind, and everyone has the right to profit from the work of their mind. So if you think this would make it harder for you to sell copies of WEIT, or if you have any other objection to the project, let me know and I won’t do it.


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