Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Pete Moulton has sent some lovely bird photographs and a note:

After seeing Stephen’s [S. Barnard] usual terrific photography, I’m emboldened to pass along a few more favorite bird pix. Water birds in the desert! All with my usual walking around setup: Canon Rebel T1i and the 100-400 image-stabilizing zoom lens.
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) flying into the gathering sunrise at Bosque del Apache NWR back in late January. It was really cold for an Arizona desert rat like me, but that’s a small price to pay for this kind of light.
The duck’s a drake Canvasback (Aythya valisineria), of course. My favorite of all the ducks. This one was at a local Phoenix city park.
CANV1 2-2-14 Papago Pk 8070
And, naturally, we have to have a Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), from the same park pond as the Canvasback, but on a different day. This one’s already in breeding color in the first week of March.
PBGR_3-8-14_Papago Pk_9489
Professor Ceiling Cat finds the grebe, which he’s never before seen, quite cute.


    Posted March 18, 2014 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Marvelous pictures.

    It’s so wonderful that so many aspects of the natural world arouse some of our finest feelings, especially the sense of beauty (mammals and birds, landscapes), cuteness (baby mammals), the sublime (views from high mountains and sunsets) and the sense of our being part of nature too (running on a beach surrounded by screeching seagulls, hiking along the Appalachian trail).

  2. gophergold
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Are those real birds or people body-painted and posed to look like birds?

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    What beautiful birds in nice sunlight! The grebe is really cute with its short little beak!

  4. Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Fantastic work!

  5. JBlilie
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Very very nice ones Pete, thanks! 🙂

  6. Kevin Alexander
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I especially liked the pale blue nightjar behind the crane!

    • still learning
      Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink


  7. still learning
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The light gives a brass patina on the crane, making it look like a sculpture. Beautiful pix!

    And, yes, grebes are very cute.

  8. Diego
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I agree with the Professor, Pied-billed Grebes *are* adorable! I sometimes take them for granted because they are so common here and we rarely get any other kind of grebe (sometimes Horned or Eared). But I shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the little cuties.

  9. Posted March 18, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Few things….

    First, very well done — obviously!

    Next, just to clarify Bosque del Apache is in New Mexico, not Arizona; it’s about an hundred miles south of Albuquerque.

    And…again, something about that “Phoenix city park” strongly reminds me of Papago Park, even if there’s not enough in the photos to actually identify the location. Amirite?


    • Pete Moulton
      Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Ben! Yes, you’re absolutely right on all counts. Papago Park indeed. It’s close to home for me, and generally has a good variety of waterbirds available for photo ops, especially in winter.

      • Posted March 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        One of my favorite spots, too. I used to live just a few miles away, at Priest and 3rd Street in Tempe (just a stone’s throw south of the river) and used to commute by bicycle through it, but I’m now much further south and I telecommute so I don’t go there nearly so often.

        …but I am now living just a couple miles or so from the Pima Canyon entrance to South Mountain Park, so I take Baihu for walks there occasionally (but nowhere near as often as I should).


        • Pete Moulton
          Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          There’s good birding in Pima Canyon too. A different selection, of course…

          • Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            I haven’t brought the camera to Pima Canyon yet; just the cat. But I’ve startled lots of birds that were gone before I could identify them, and more than once heard owls and coyotes at dusk. It’ll definitely be a fruitful place to take the heavy artillery…but I’ve got some other projects to finish before I can afford the time….


  10. Pete Moulton
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for looking, and for the nice comments, everybody!

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 19, 2014 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      Gorgeous shots, Pete! A real treat.

      Canvasbacks are one of my favorite ducks, too.

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