Readers’ wildlife photos

June 17, 2023 • 8:15 am

We have several contributors today, whose notes and IDs are indented. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

First, some photos of owls living in Dobrzyn.  Can you ID them? (To me it looks like a juvenile, and note that it has a mustache.)

This is what Malgorzata says, “Yesterday evening Andrzej posted 3 pictures of an owl which Paulina took. We have 4 owls as lodgers this year, probably parents and two young. We are not sure where their nest is but it is in our garden.” Andrzej’s caption:

Paulina’s late night owl hunting (in Polish: “Nocne polowanie Pauliny na sowy.”)

From Charles Sawicki, in Fargo, North Dakota:

A few years ago I raised native leaf cutting bees (family Megachilidae), that normally live in hollow plant stems, and discovered that their population is severely limited by a lack of nest sites. Identification of the particular species requires examination, under magnification by an expert. [JAC: the bees provision each cell for the larvae with pollen or a mixture of nectar and pollen. You may have these bees in your yard, and can just use straws and a container to rear many of them.]

These bees build little cells blocked at the ends with leaf pieces and bee secretions. Each cell is about 0.6 inches long and contains pollen and an egg that eventually develops into a bee. The straws were held in 4-inch plastic pipes, and held about 12 cells each. In year 1 I had only three full tubes, in year 2, 32 tubes and in year 3 there were 305 filled tubes. As can be seen in the first picture, near the center, the bees sometimes cut out pieces of pink flowers instead of leaves. These photos were taken in year 3. The first photo shows bees in the process of filling straws. The second photo shows filled straws in one pipe.

These bees can also make their pipes by rolling cut-up leaves. Here are some leaf-cutter cells from Bangalore India (photo from Wikipedia):

From Robert Woolley:

My favorite wildlife photo is attached. It’s an Eastern copperhead snake  (Agkistrodon contortrix) on a tree stump in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, in western North Carolina. There’s a sneaky second copperhead visible on the left, which I didn’t even know was there until I got home and looked at the photos.

From James Sutzer:

Here’s a few photos of an Eastern racer (Coluber constrictor)  I found passing through my backyard yesterday. Looks like he needed a drink. Later I watched him climb a tree in my front yard. Haven’t seen him since.

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. So interesting about bees laying eggs in those straws! I love the owl and the snake(s) too (yikes about the sneaky one).

  2. My wizard friend Merlin (the bird ID app) says that your red-eyed beauty is a Long-Eared Owl, Asio otus. Wonderful photos!

  3. The owl is certainly a juvenile. It appears to be a Long-eared Owl (Asio otus), distributed across northern Eurasia and North America.

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