Readers’ wildlife photos

June 10, 2023 • 8:15 am

Thanks to several readers’ contributions, we’re limping along here and may not run out of photos for a while. One of the contributors is regular Doug Hayes of “The Breakfast Crew” fame, who lives in Richmond, Virginia.  His captions and IDs below are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them:

The Breakfast Crew is back! The yard is quite busy with all the regulars plus a few newcomers who stay around for a few days, then move on to the park and wooded areas along the James River. We’ve also had quite a bit of rain, but that doesn’t stop the Crew from coming for a free meal!

A male American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis). These birds are found all over the neighborhood, especially in yards where the owners have planted sunflowers. This little guy is a bit soggy from the rain:

This American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is damp but not deterred from visiting the yard:

I think I’ve mentioned that mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are not the brightest of birds. It looks as if this one didn’t have enough sense to get out of the rain:

This house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) doesn’t mind a bit of rain when there is free food to be had:

Peanut girl, a red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus), does not let a little rain stand in the way of her and her favorite food:

Pretty Girl is the most brilliantly colored female Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) that visits the yard – although her colors are a bit hard to see when she’s drenched. Her red crest, red wing markings and bright orange beak make her stand out from the other more drab-looking females. She has been around for at least three years:

This Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is one of the regulars. Seeds or suet, this little guy enjoys it all:

We get quite a few Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) throughout the neighborhood as the park service has set up a number of nesting boxes for them in Forest Hill Park:

White-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) are frequent visitors to the yard. They’re tricky to photograph as they tend to zip in, grab a seed or peanut and quickly take off to eat in the trees. They never linger like finches or doves:

A male rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). This is only the second time these birds have visited the yard. They came by for about a week, then left for parts unknown. I never saw the males feed, preferring to chase each other away from the feeders:

A female rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). This female came by a couple of times a day for a week or so, eating greedily. She may have been getting ready to lay eggs or had babies to feed:

I put out a bowl of peanuts hoping to attract bluejays and woodpeckers, but this house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) decided that she wanted some too!:

A male house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). Mother Nature loves making male birds flashier than the females!:

A tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) decides to get in on the peanut feast too:

A quick trip to the Chamberlayne Swamp revealed that the anhingas (Anhinga anhinga) are back. This is the second year for them to nest in the area:

Camera info:  Sony A1 and A7R5 dslr bodies, Sony 200-600 zoom lens + 1.4X teleconverter, photos either hand-held or the camera supported with an iFootage Cobra 2 monopod and Neewer gimbal head. The anhinga photo was shot with the aid of the camera’s Clear View digital zoom for added reach.

9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Thanks, as always, Doug. This year we also have goldfinches and little (as opposed to blue jays) bluebirds just downriver from you in our Newport News backyard. Great shots of the drenched birds!

  2. Fabulous! The Breakfast Crew is one of my favs. I really liked the shots of the damp and bedraggled. A different perspective on their daily lives. The male rose-breasted grosbeak and anhinga are stunning photos. Thank you.

  3. Lovely photos! The Mourning Dove may not be the brightest of birds, but I prefer it to the Rock Dove (aka common pigeon), who is equally dense but not as dainty.

  4. Living in the Northwest, I get a lot of waterlogged birds, though your collection here takes the cake. Man, those birds are soaked! The anhingas is special, never seen that bird. Thanks for sharing these great captures.

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