Readers’ wildlife photos

June 8, 2023 • 8:15 am

Well, we’re running out of photos, so after tomorrow I’ll post them when any arrive. If you have some on hand, please send them!

Today we have varied bird and mammal photos from Christopher Moss, taken in northern Nova Scotia, near the New Brunswick border. His captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

He first announces this:

The teleconverter arrived, so my 500mm lens is now a 700mm lens.

First, “the fish thief” [great blue heron]

Ardea herodias, I mean. Apparently a redundancy too, as “ardea” means “heron” in latin, and ἐρῳδιός (erodios) means the same in Greek. The sun is on the pond today, and each time I go out to feed the crows (they come and caw—did you know ‘cawe’ is Anglo-Saxon for crow?—on the deck rail when they are ready for their peanut. There are too of them chattering out there now hoping for a third handout. They have me well trained!) the heron flaps a few feet further away, but comes stalking back slowly and purposefully to the deeper water closer to me. I don’t know if it is true, but my father told me they secrete some kind of attractant from glands on the legs that entices fish to come within reach.

And the first wood duck since the winter, Aix sponsa:

The BlueWinged Teal (Spatula discors), duck and drake:

 Blue Winged Teal (drake):

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) shown in an earlier post:

Today I found the blighter swimming close to the deep hole we dug out to fill watering cans for the garden. With 200mm focal length:

. . . and as quick as I could twist the lens to 500mm:

At which point the muskrat dived, and I waited as long as I could, until my bladder said I’d done enough. Either it is true that they can dive for 17 minutes, or he has made a burrow with the entrance, sensibly, in the deep pool next to the bank adjacent to the house (even when the pond is frozen there will be access).

A Green-Winged Teal drake (Anas carolinensis, and mainly no longer thought conspecific with A. crecca, the Eurasian Teal) preening:

. . . and with his mate:

8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Gratefully—it has rained for the last week and my brother’s house is no longer threatened. The smoke currently affecting the NE states is coming from Ontario and Québec.
      I was delighted to get the photo of the two muskrats together, as that means we have a breeding pair and there may be kits later on.

      1. Baby muskrats w/b wonderful.

        That’s good news for NS. We in Ontario are still smelling and tasting smoke in the air. Hard to be outside nowadays, so my garden is a little neglected.

      1. Seriously?
        In that case, crows are better employers than the stereotypical cat.
        I don’t recognise “choke cherries”, but ISTR that rowan berries taste horrible, but aren’t actively poisonous. (Checking … some culinary uses. More so than a dead mouse.)

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