Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

May 13, 2023 • 8:15 am

Send in your photos, folx!  I need seven batches a week to keep this going (and thanks to those who heed my calls).

Today we have several contributors, the first being reader Don Bredes. All contributors’ words are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them:

Our rose-breasted grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus) showed up here in northern Vermont this past week. They perch on the deck railing, chirping for us to come out and feed them a few sunflower seeds and waiting, trustingly, right there. We’ve seen only males so far. They remember us, clearly. Rose-breasted grosbeaks can live in the wild for 10 years or longer, twice as long in captivity.
In the fall they migrate from their breeding grounds in North America to Central and northern South America. Most fly across the Gulf of Mexico in a single night, although some migrate over land around the Gulf. Their population globally, now at 4,700,000, is dropping slightly. In their wintering grounds, they are commonly trapped for sale as caged birds because they’re beautiful, and their song is lovely.
We can’t help but wonder about the little neighborhood in Belize or Venezuela where “our” grosbeaks spend their winters and whether another family there may have befriended them.

From Peter, a poisonous juvenile Dugite snake (Pseudonaja affinis) gets killed by a Redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti). He added this:

Two decades ago I took a photo of a redback spider that had killed a small lizard. This is next level up.

A video from Rick Longworth, who says he’s put up a new house for the displaced wood ducks:

Today a pair of wood ducks (Aix sponsa) inspected my duck box for nesting. Unfortunately for them, a Western screech-owl (Megascops kennicottii) had already taken ownership and was sitting on eggs. The woodies both inspect the box and look down the back side where the opening is. The male—the one wearing the tuxedo—looks on as the female makes attempts to enter the hole. Imagine her shock to see two enormous, yellow eyes staring back. Suddenly, a different female shows up. The male is pretty upset and tries to intimidate the interloper. The original female gives up and scurries off. Soon the male leaves too. Music is Kevin MacLeod ~ Fluffing a Duck.

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

  1. These were all very good, thanks! I love grossbeaks, we don’t have the rose-breasted, but have the evening and black-headed. This year we have the black-headed, but no evening, (yet?).

    How does that spider eat the snake? Crazy.

    Rick, I hope “your” wood ducks find a home that isn’t occupied. With all that duck drama going on, it’s funny to think there’s an owl underneath them, probably wondering what the heck is going on. Beautiful birds!

    1. The spider has components in its venom that can liquify the insides of prey and allow the spider to suck them out to digest.

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