Readers’ wildlife photos

October 21, 2021 • 8:00 am

Once again I appeal for photos, as I go through seven batches per week. If you have some good ones, please send ’em in. Remember, I never ask for money (except for charities), but I do ask for photos.

Today we have the second installment of bird photos (and one mammal) from Susan Harrison, an ecologist at the University of California at Davis. Part 1 of her contribution is here. Susan’s captions and IDs are indented, and you click on the photos to enlarge them.


Birdwatching in the Great Basin in summer gives “flyover country” a new and improved meaning.  These are sightings from Nevada, Utah, and Idaho in July-August 2021, sorted loosely by habitat and elevation.  Some fun facts are taken from Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s excellent site,

Sagebrush desert

This has been called “the bird without a field mark” with “no mark of distinction whatever—just bird” (, but it has a crazy song that reminds me of samba percussion:

Brewer’s Sparrow, Spizella breweri:

A passing Short-Eared Owl (Asio flammeus), too fast for me to photograph, put this bird and several others on high alert:

Rock Wren, Salpinctes obsoletus:

This coyote seemed interested in the flutter of small-animal activity in the wake of the Short-Eared Owl:

Coyote, Canis latrans:

This family was breakfasting on bugs in the cow pies in a very small pasture surrounded by desert:

Sage Grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus:

These great singers were hunting insects around the cow pasture:

Sage Thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus:

This dashing flycatcher breeds all the way from central Mexico to the Arctic:

Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya:


Named for its flashy legs, and also called telltale, tattler, and yelper for its sounds:

Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca:

Simulates the Doppler effect with its calls, giving the illusion that it’s moving faster than it is:

American Avocet, Recurvirostra americana:

These legs are proportionately longer than those of any bird but flamingos:

Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus:

Dances on the water in courtship, carries young on its back, and is almost identical to Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis);

Clark’s Grebe, Aechmophorus clarkia:

Females are the colorful sex in this species, though these ones are in nonbreeding plumage:

Red-necked Phalaropes, Phalaropus lobatus:

Next two photos from the Great Salt Lake near Antelope Island National State Park:

Red-necked Phalaropes, Phalaropus lobatus:

American White Pelicans, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos:

3 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Beautiful photos Susan, thanks for sharing these. I love the Basin and Range country. Little known, little traveled.

  2. Great photos! Loved the stilt photo with the rippling water, and those legs…I mean stilts! Thanks for the wide assortment.

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