Readers’ wildlife photographs

Apparently reader Stephen Barnard has returned to Idaho from New Zealand, for I received several photos of U.S. critters the other day. Here are a few, and some New Zealand noms (as always, click to enlarge):

The light is usually terrible this time of the year, but you take what  you can get.

A mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) “in flight”, a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and some frosty Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) on Loving Creek.




They call these “crayfish.” It’s a spiny lobster. I’m not sure of the species. My guide catches them but can’t eat them because he’s allergic. The Kiwis have apparently never caught on to drawn butter, but these are delicious anyway. These crayfish go for $50NZD [$36 US] apiece.

Spiny lobster

And new photos from another regular, Diana MacPherson:

I sent you some pictures of white-breasted nuthatches [JAC: to come} but this time I took pictures of red-breasted nuthatches. Also I took a picture of the black squirrel who is normally at my bird feeder with his back to me. Here he is in the maple tree out the front of my place resting. I finally saw his cute face!
Cute black Grey-Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis):
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) hanging upside Down on fat:
 Nuthatch acrobatics:



  1. Dominic
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The nuthatches are so charming!

  2. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Love the upside down nuthatches!

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Me, too. And the squirrel! Several times during the fall, I heard chattering and tussling up in the trees, and every time it was a black squirrel being chased away by a brown one. I wonder what was up with that.

  3. GBJames
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Great photos, as usual. That lobster looks tasty but the price!!!

    • Hempenstein
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      My thoughts, too. USD36 could buy a boatload of green-lipped mussels instead.

  4. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Nice! Good ones of the rb nuthatch Diana!

  5. still learning
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Diana’s toilet paper and nuthatches…both upside down!😄

  6. Barry
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    It would be nice, and contribute to the countries education level, if the restaurants would stick little numbered pins in the various crayfish parts, and offer a discount to those who got high scores. (I wonder what it is about the photo that makes me think that?)

    • darrelle
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Because it looks fairly similar to what is often seen on high school biology lab counters? Except the pick also looks tasty.

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I see your point:-). I remember when some fellow students would move some of the flags to screw the rest of us up:-(

  7. rickflick
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The light in Idaho this time of year is subdued and gorgeous.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      We get these weather inversions that reach all the way up from Boise and can last for weeks. The weather is overcast and drab — terrible lighting for most photography, and especially the kind I like to do. It seems especially bad this winter.

      • rickflick
        Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I understand your favoring dramatic high contrast imaging. But, I offer the suggestion that variations in weather and light provides interest.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          It can provide interest for certain kinds of photography, especially landscapes. For my specialty, birds in flight, it’s a disaster. With low light levels I can’t get the shutter speeds I need at a reasonable ISO. In addition, there aren’t that many birds. The trout fishing, my other hobby, is also poor now.

          Today especially sucks. It’s tough coming back after two weeks of summer in New Zealand. After 15 years of Idaho winters and at my advanced age I’m tired of it. I feel like I’m under house arrest on my ranch. (Poor me.) I need to figure out something else for a few months next winter. I thought about going to New Zealand, but I couldn’t take my d*gs, whom I love, so that’s a nonstarter. I may buy a comfortable trailer and tour around the south. Florida has good fresh and salt fishing, is near to the Bahamas where I love to fish, and to Cuba where I plan to go.

          Do you live in Idaho? I adore my adopted state, despite its politics, but there are good times and not so good times.

          • rickflick
            Posted February 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            OK, gotcha. With fast motion you would need more light.

          • rickflick
            Posted February 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            Funny you should mention it. My wife and I are considering retiring in Washington or Idaho. The snow in NY is getting the better of us as well as the high taxes. We are looking at the Spokane Valley or Coeur d’Alene. Vancouver is just too built up and the Olympic Peninsula is too remote. Where do you live under house arrest?

            • Mark R.
              Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

              There is a county named Snohomish in Washington. North of King county…King county encompasses Seattle, Bellevue and most heavily populated parts of the state. Just north is the county of Snohomish, and the cities within are a friendly conglomeration. If you like the country and forested land, and a slight immunity to global warming and a growing economy, then check it out.

              • Mark R.
                Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

                immunity to global warming because we probably won’t be in drought (I know no place is immune) and the growing economy has nothing to do with the global warming aspect. Posted faster than my brain worked. argh.

  8. Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Great photos! How do we submit wildlife photos of our own?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      You have to email them to Jerry. He likes them, but only good ones. 🙂

      • Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks — what’s the correct email address to use?

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted February 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Google him. University of Chicago.

  9. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Mmmmm that looks like a tasty sea beastie. I always mix up shrimp and prawns and I think they are the same thing except prawns are bigger.

    • GBJames
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I think that depends on whether you are in North America or in the UK. In the UK the difference in size is substantial, whereas here, not so much.

      • Mark R.
        Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Technically speaking, shrimp have two pair of front claws and prawns have three. And you’re right that in the US (and Canada I presume) prawns are almost always bigger. Both taste similar to me though, just don’t overcook them!

        • Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes, please don’t turn them to rubber!

      • Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        And then there’s the word scampi, which in Italian just means shrimp/prawns, but in Canada means a crayfish-like critter (flat belly like a lobster) which used to be cheap but now has gone through the roof.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t even know that’s what those were and just thought Red Lobster commercials that talked about scampi tails were funny.

          • Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            Not sure I’d trust the Red Lobster ones. They are delicious sauteed in garlic and butter (isn’t anything?) but hard to find now at any price. I think St. lawrence Mkt has them.

  10. Posted February 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Lovely photos. I love the frosty mallards and the little birdies too.

  11. Mark R.
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Frosty mallards is a nice title and even nicer photo.
    Did you eat the lobster’s tomalley? Yummy, my favorite part of lobsters or crabs.

    Nice hanging Nuthatcher Diana and I’m glad you finally got a head shot of that handsome squirrel…er, I mean cute.

  12. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Those nuthatches are way cool.

  13. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I live near Picabo.

  14. rickflick
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    You are pretty remote there on Rt 20. Looks like you will be getting a little sun on Thursday.

  15. Marella
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Love the hawk, great photo.

  16. John Scanlon, FCD
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Nuthatches look and behave a lot like the Sittellas (Daphoenositta, Neosittidae), including the upside-down thing, but the Australian versions are ‘Core Corvoids‘ and only distantly related to Sittidae. This pair of taxa belongs in textbooks with other classic examples of convergence.

  17. Diane G.
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I really like the winter-scapes, Stephen. And that’s an especially striking redtail shot–it contrasts so pleasingly with the white branches. The (super sharp!) frost crystals sort of echo the hawks rictal bristles.

  18. Diane G.
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    You’ve really captured the Red-breasted Nuthatch’s pendant personality there, Diana! I love these little guys, but only see them maybe once every 3 or 4 winters. This isn’t one of them. 😦

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I was surprised to see them as well. I don’t often see both types (the red and the white bellies).

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