Readers’ wildlife photos

October 29, 2021 • 8:00 am

I’ve decided that it’s unseemly to beg and plead the readers for photos, so if we ever run out, I will make this feature sporadic—posted only when we get some good photos.

But luckily, Stephen Barnard has returned today with some excellent photos of his digs in Idaho and the wildlife around it.  His captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them:

Your increasingly desperate pleading for photos has raised my guilt level to the breaking point. [JAC: Oy vey!]

Some bald eagle photos [Haliaeetus leucocephalus]. This pair is familiar. Lucy (left) and Desi are long-time residents. I heard them vocalizing from a distance. A juvenile was perched above them, and their calls seem directed at it. As I approached to get a closer shot Little Ricky flew off. Lucy and Desi have raised dozens of chicks just in the ten years I’ve been here, but they don’t let them stick around. I think that’s what was going on.

By the way, bald eagle calls sound to my ear uncharacteristic of what one would expect: high-pitched, plaintive, unpleasant screeching.

A couple shots of Desi on a fishing run up the creek. I distracted him and I felt he was pissed off.

The elk [Cervus canadensis] have been abundant. The rut is over and the bugling has stopped.

These twin yearling moose calves and their mom [Alces alces] have been frequent visitors. I’m including a photo from June 28 to get a feel for how they’ve grown in just four months.

A moose calf, spooked by my dogs, trying keep up with mom.

Especially for Jerry, a rather blurry photo of a bull moose spooking a mallard.

A coyote [Canis latrans] in dim, predawn light.

The sandhill cranes [Antigone canadensis] have left on their fall migration. Before they leave they do courting displays, which is puzzling to me. It makes sense when they do them in the spring, before mating, but why now? Do they have a second breeding season in their winter range? Or is it just pair bonding?

JAC: My mallards do this too, even now when breeding has long been over. I think it’s a form of pair bonding.

A rainbow trout [Oncorhynchus mykiss] about to eat a Callibaetis mayfly.

A couple of landscapes. I like the Turneresque light in the first (an iPhone photo). The second is a rainbow hitting my house dead center.

17 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. I like how this set of photos essentially were of a quality to merely serve as a stop-gap until the GOOD photos show up…

    I mean … “oh, PCC(E) needs some pics – well, all I got was like a bald eagle and stuff – but if you really need it that bad, sure – here ya go.”

    ^^^^in case of misinterpretation : these pics are gorgeous!

    1. I appreciate your sarcastically framed compliment. I have the honor of having initiated the the Readers’ wildlife photos feature, back when I was banned from the website for some rude comment, which I deeply regret. I sent Jerry some photos, mallards probably, as an act of propitiation. I encourage EVERYONE to send in your photos — but only the good ones.

  2. In Hollywood movies that feature (for whatever reason) eagles, apparently it’s common practice to dub in hawk cries. I guess hawks sound more appropriately majestic; eagles, not so much.

    1. Yep. Eagles have more of a scratchy cheep vs. the Hollywood raptor cry.
      Makes you wonder what dinosaurs made wimpy sounds too. Imagine T-rex with a tiny chirp chirp.

  3. I’m curious when you got home to the house that had a rainbow in it was there a lot of gold awaiting your delight? Love the twins growth pictures.

  4. The Idaho tourism department ought to give you a raise! It’s just stunning. I’m curious how you are feeling about your gubernatorial candidates – I follow along the peripheries, but it seems pretty wild.

    1. One leading candidate, Lt. Gov.Janice McGeachin, is batshit crazy. Another, anti-government activist Ammon Bundy, is a domestic terrorist. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bundy get the nomination and the office. Forget it, Jake. It’s Idaho.

      1. That was kind of my impression. I’ve been following Bundy related stuff for a long time now, and he’s a package that a certain segment of the populace really likes. His Skousen constitution scares the heck out of me. It’s unfortunate, because Idaho is an amazing place (I love it. Can’t wait to camp at Priest Lake again) that deserves better.

        1. It wasn’t that long ago (well, 50 years) that Idaho had excellent statewide Democratic politicians. Frank Church (Senator) and Cecil Andrus (Governor) come to mind. Politics in Idaho is a concentrated toxic microcosm of what’s happened to politics in America.

      2. anti-government activist Ammon Bundy,

        Let me guess – he’s not named (directly) for the famous fossils?

  5. With respect to eagle cries, it always amuses me how inappropriate sound effects are used in television and movies. The typical ‘eagle cry’ signifying the desert states of America is a European Buzzard, every jungle seems to be brimming over with kookaburras, even if in South America or Africa, and every forest lake is full of loons. I guess people have to come to expect these sounds, and soundtrack editors use them for no better reason than that.

  6. Beautiful photos! My husband and I are pretty sure we saw a bald eagle near us in Beltsville, MD. We were driving home from the store, and we saw a HUGE bird swooping down to chase a bunch of smaller birds. The huge bird had a white head and tail. We were driving, so we couldn’t take photos. I’ve never seen a bald eagle around here before, but I’m pretty sure this was one.

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