Readers’ wildlife photos

August 1, 2023 • 8:15 am

I haven’t been monitoring the level of the photo tank, but it’s low, and I have about four days’ worth. If you have some good wildlife photos, send them in.  Note that I’ll be going to the Galápagos Islands from August 11 through the 20th, lecturing on an alumni cruise, so I won’t need photos during that time, and you should refrain from sending me posting items, as I might not be able to post. (Hili will continue.)

Today we have several items, first two videos from reader Gary Radice sent on July 22. The videos were taken in Corvallis, Oregon.  Gary’s notes (and those of others) are indented:

I saw these critters at 6:00 this morning when I took my dog out for a walk. The house you see in the background is right across the street.

I had seen a fox occasionally on my morning walks recently but I thought it was just one. Turns out it was probably one of a family of at least five! I believe these are gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), based on the black stripe on the tail.

And here is one of them barking. [JAC: Note that a fox bark sounds nothing like a dog bark.]

. . . And here’s an amphibian to identify, sent in on July 3by Linda Calhoun in New Mexico.

John found this toad in our garden yesterday.  Don’t know the species, and have never seen one before.  Most of the toads around here are NM Spadefoots, which are tiny compared to this one.

When he checked last night before closing up shop, it was gone.

. . . ,. We have only had a little rain in the last few weeks.  The spadefoots come out when there has been enough rain for them to spawn in the puddles.  Their eggs hatch rapidly and the tadpoles grow quickly, lest the puddles dry up.  The adults are only as big as a half-dollar when fully grown.

This guy is about the size of a softball, or maybe a little bigger.

If you put it out there, maybe somebody with a lot more expertise than I could tell us.

Name the toad!

From Don Bredes:

Here’s a great clip pf a first-year American black bear cub (Ursus americanus) exploring.  No doubt his mama wasn’t far off.

These were collected on my trail cams mounted 100 yards or so from our place high in the wooded hills of Wheelock, Vermont, in the northeast corner of the state (known as the Northeast Kingdom).

A year earlier I got a few still images of an adult bear in about the same spot.   Might have been the mama.


And unidentified hummingbird photos by Emilio d’Alise.  Can you ID these?

2014 Flowers,

2014 Flowers,

9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Thanks, Greg. I know it’s not a spadefoot, since those are tiny compared to this guy. This is the first one we’ve seen in the fifteen years we’ve been here. It has been pretty dry, too, and the spadefoots only show up after a lot of rain.

      I’m always curious when something anomalous shows up.


      1. I concur with Raskos (below) that it’s Woodhouse’s Toad. (Fowler’s Toad is he eastern subspecies– in NM you have the nominate form). I’ve had the exact same kind of anomalous appearance happen in my yard, twice. Once, many years ago, a Rana appeared in my yard– spotted, so either Leopard or Pickerel: I can’t recall. Then, in late summer 2020, an American Toad showed up on the grass behind my house, near my neighbor’s driveway. I put it in a corner of my yard that I let grow as a cord grass prairie, but haven’t seen it since. The nearest body of water where anurans could breed is about .5 km away, straight line through a suburban neighborhood; this is in Racine, WI.


  1. Love the toad! I used to collect the east coast species, Anaxyrus americanus, as a child. I’d keep them in a terrarium or a dry well in our back yard for a while and then let them go. I never got tired of them.

  2. How wonderful to see so many foxes right in the neighborhood. Very cute!
    I love that raspy yip.

    Kilham Bear Center is not too far away from that young bear. They take in baby orphan bears and rerelease at an older age. I hope this bear’s mom was nearby though.
    Cubs are so darn cute.

  3. I believe that’s a Fowler’s toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii), going by the dorsal stripe, and the shapes of the cranial crests and parotid glands.
    We found a lot of these along the San Pedro River in SE Arizona. A bit disorienting for me – I was used to finding them on the shores of Lake Erie. Easy to forget that toads probably evolved in dry habitats.

  4. A most excellent series of RWP today. Thanks all. The cub was just great. I see them every once in a while, but never a video! Nature cams are much fun. I set one up recently. I’ve also had one stolen, so I’m a bit weary. And I live in the boonies? Kids, probably.

    Thanks for the toad identification, Greg. It truly looks like a toad. 😉

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