Readers’ wildlife photos

November 12, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today’s selection comes from Ivar Husa from Washington State, but the photos are from Arizona. Ivar’s captions and ID’s are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

These photos were taken near Buenos Aires NWR southwest of Tucson. I might add  near our southern  border.

Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus) are birds of prey that often fly stealthily by staying below treetops, rising above only when they get close to their nest. This one bears a rodent for the chicks.

These chicks fledged within a few weeks of these photos being taken.

It was jarring to see for myself  a new section of border wall slashing through wildlands southwest of Tucson.  Animal movements are restricted, causing ecological damage.

Here are images taken south of Tucson AZ

American Snout, Libytheana carinenta  These were present in prodigious numbers at lower levels of the Santa Rita Mountains. I crudely estimate that along an 8 mile stretch of Box Canyon Road that perhaps 100,000 American Snout could be seen.

Here is a look at them along the road. Every black spot on the road, every one, is an American Snout. They had record rains this year which perhaps explains their spectacular abundance here.  Sulphurs were nearly as abundant in other locations.

Checkered WhitePyrgus albescens:

Dainty SulphurNathalis iole. Did they say ‘dainty’? This butterfly has about a 2.5cm wingspan: about an inch.

Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta Claudia:

Queen butterflyDanaus gilippus:

Tiny CheckerspotDymasia dymas.  Did they say ‘tiny’? These have wingspans in the range of 2.3 to 3.5 cm.—around an inch.

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui:   

Finally, this cutie. I showed a picture to a local birder (as one does, herpetologists being less abundant in the field)  and asked “What do you call this red-spotted toad? “:  

To my surprise and amusement he replied “Red-spotted Toad.”  Anaxyrus punctatus. This one is yet only about 3.5mm (1.5”) long and will grow much larger.

Photos taken with Canon 5D SR with 100-400 Mark II and 1.4X multiplier.

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. A terrific set! Your long lens is exactly like mine, including the 1.4x extender. Your pictures demonstrate that this big zoom lens is also a remarkably good close up lens (albeit maybe with some cropping). Thats why I bought it!

    1. It is certainly the best lens out there within my budget (now spent). Another fantastic way to get more resolution is to choose a mega-pixel camera. I get 7D resolution with 5D sensors. I doubled my mega pixels, effectively giving me sqrt(2) more focal length. OK, and at a price… But cheaper than the bigger lens!

  2. Lovely, lovely photos! I went to your link about the Crested Caracara because I could swear that I’d seen one once just outside of Okeechobee, Florida…and it looks like they do live in that region of central Florida! So, perhaps I really did see one…

  3. It’s wonderful to see photos from Buenos Aires NWR – one of our regular stops when we visit Tucson. The wildlife of all sizes is amazing, notably the ubiquitous antelope and javelinas. That said, it saddens me greatly to see The Former Guy’s wall scarring the landscape.

    1. I was able to photograph Roseate Spoonbills there. Uncommon there. I missed seeing the Dicksissel seen there. I must find one elsewhre!

  4. Thanks for the photos from pert near in my back yard!
    The one of the Crested Caracara flying thru the Mesquites & Cholla is marvelous.
    How did you snap that one?
    I have researched beetles down here since 1969, but never saw a Caracara!
    Even in my decades of collecting & camping out all over Mexico, I never saw a
    Right now I am reading a marvelous book about Caracaras: “A Most Remarkable Creature”.
    The 9 species range from Arizona to Tierra del Fuego.
    The author is Jonathan Meiburg; he calls this clan of strange birds “Flying monkeys”.
    The Caracaras are neither quite hawks nor vultures.
    It takes a special creature to forge a niche between those 2 guilds!

    1. I was parked along the side of a paved road, whose raised roadbed let me look down a small bit. It is a nest birds have returned to, and a local pointed it out to me. Make friends in Audubon!

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