Readers’ wildlife photos

August 13, 2022 • 8:30 am

Today we have some diverse contributions from three readers. Their narratives and IDs are indented, and you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

First, a rock and roll spider from Tony Eales in Queensland:

Last week, spider researcher Peter Jaeger published a paper erecting a new genus of Tropical Wandering Spiders (Ctenidae) Bowie gen. nov. In it he redescribed 49 species previously placed in the “waste bin” genus Ctenus into the new genus Bowie, and described a further 55 new species occurring from Nepal to tropical north Australia.

The new species all have specific names honouring the late great David Bowie like Bowie hunkydory, B. ziggystardust, B. ladystardust, B. aladdinsane, B. majortom, B. jeangenie & B. heroes.

When I saw the pictures of some of the new species floating around the internet, I realised to my delight that I had photographed one when I was in Borneo in 2018. I asked Peter Jaeger on Facebook if the photo I had taken was indeed a member of the new genus and he confirmed that yes “a beautiful male”

From Terry Platt; the second photo is annotated (click to enlarge):

Here is a new image (taken last night) that shows the ‘Tulip’ nebula (SH2-101) and the nearest known black hole – Cygnus X-1. The visible star is a ‘Blue Supergiant’ of about 40x the mass of the Sun and around 500,000 times brighter. It is about 7200 light years away and is in a 5 day mutual binary orbit with a black hole that has a mass of around 21 Suns. The black hole is stripping material from the outer layers of the blue star and this emits X rays as it falls towards the event horizon. The hole is also radiating relativistic speed atomic particles from the regions around its rotational poles and these are creating a ‘shock front’ in the surrounding nebula (visible near the upper right side).

The image is, as before, in Hydrogen alpha light, and taken from Bracknell in the south of England, with my 150 mm Esprit refractor and Starlight Xpress 694 CCD camera.

See the shock front below:

From Divy Figueroa: bird photos taken in her backyard:

Common ground dove (Columbina passerina):

Gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis): They are mainly attracted to the mulberries, more than the seeds. They come in droves, as they migrate in our area for a few weeks in the spring.

Red-tailed hawk (?), possibly Buteo jamaicensis. Readers, please verify.

14 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very good! There are a couple other species named after David Bowie.
    I know the hawk is young (yellow eyes). That is all I have.

  2. I’m curious about the hawk I’d as well – red-tailed, Cooper’s, or … broad-shouldered? I can never get it right.

    1. Also in that excellent photo, I note it’s right claw .. foot?… uses three … phalanges…? on one side, one opposite.

      It’s left – only two phalanges visible, … two opposite?

        1. Two on either side of the branch – seems awkward/unbalanced, but it _is_ the wild, and a brief moment of time.

          Because I think only one claw is oriented as to oppose the others. So two on one side … counterintuitive.

    1. I think it is an immature red tailed or immature Cooper’s Hawk. Where exactly is this back yard? I am guessing the Eastern US.

    1. That’s not right, young Red-tails don’t have red undertails so can’t be eliminated on those grounds, though the red on the upper wing shoulder does suggest Red-shouldered Hawk.

  3. The hawk’s underparts aren’t patterned correctly for a young Red-tail. It should have a “belly band” of streaks and a lighter chest. So what species? You can even see the red “shoulder” on the wing. Red-shouldered Hawk, immature.

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