Readers’ wildlife photos

by Grania

Reader Mark Otten from Ohio sent Jerry five beautiful photographs. He writes:

All of the attached photos were taken at Glenwood Gardens Park (a component of the Hamilton County Park District) in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio.

Male eastern (rufous-sided) towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus).


Field sparrow (Spizella pusilla).


Bumble bee (Bombus spp.) on gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).  I am not sure which species of bumble bee this is, but I think it is Bombus impatiens.  Maybe one of your readers can verify the species.  The lower one is the uncropped version of the photo.



Male tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor ).  This photo was taken on a warm day soon after the young had hatched; which may be why he looks thinner than most tree swallows.



And bonus photo from Ben Goren: spot the butterfly and grasshopper. He says nothing about nightjars, though that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.



Thanks Mark and Ben, those are wonderful.


  1. Posted July 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I found the grasshopper quite easily, as for the butterfly, I think I found it but I’m not sure. 🙂

    • ratabago
      Posted July 15, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      There is a moth right next to the grasshopper, if that helps.

      • Posted July 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        So there is, partially hidden by leaves – but a moth is not a butterfly!

        • Posted July 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          I would claim that a katydid isn’t a grasshopper either, but whatever.

        • ratabago
          Posted July 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Looking at it a bit longer, it could be that moth is a skipper, with its wings held open. I can’t make it out clearly enough to be sure either way.

          • Mark Sturtevant
            Posted July 15, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            I agree. It does look like a skipper.

  2. ratabago
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Ben is getting lazy, naming them both spot like that.

  3. Woof
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    What? A rufous-sided towhee? That’s one of the birds I had to learn to identify for my freshman biology class in er… um… 1974.

  4. Bill Morrison
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The bee has big compound eyes. Perhaps it is a male for that reason, or perhaps it is not a Bombus.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I see a spider web. Can anyone else find that?

  6. Mark R.
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I saw a few Tree swallows on a walk today. Love the male’s blue color.

    I saw the katydid and then the moth once it was pointed out. I also saw LOTS of ivy leaves. Those were really easy!

  7. rickflick
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I like the field sparrow’s song. What a bird should sound like.

  8. Diane G.
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Mark, lovely pics!

    Ben, that was fun. 🙂

  9. Posted July 15, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Interesting coincidence about the towhee…just this morning I was sitting on the patio, and a little brown bird was flitting around, bouncing off of stuff, including my shoulder. We later identified it as most likely being a local variety of towhee….


    • Diane G.
      Posted July 15, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink


      Being that clueless, it’s possible it was a fledgling as well. There are tons up here right now, but I suppose AZ birds breed on a different schedule.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 15, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how well a bird would adapt to being upside down, transported from the northern hemisphere to the south? I mean, of course, if you introduced it during the northern spring, it would be looking for a mate and expect to start nest building, but the locals would all be fattening up for winter. This would be complicated, of course if the locals are the same species, which, come to think of it might never be the case, since NZ has rather unique fauna.

      • Posted July 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        I must admit to not having a clue as to what a towhee was until after Mike suggested it as a possibility and looked it up in the field guide — and it was my description of the bird’s behavior that gave him confidence in the ID, as I couldn’t really describe the visual appearance as much more than a generic little bird of no distinct color.

        The wildlife at their place is very relaxed around humans. The cottontail will happily munch on the lawn if you sit quietly several feet away. This morning, there was an epic battle for the hummingbird feeder about six feet away from my head…between three hummers and an honeybee — and the bee was the most successful defender of the prize! And y’all’ve already seen the lizard that walked across Jerry.


        • rickflick
          Posted July 16, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          I’ve often heard its friendlier in the South.

  10. Posted July 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous bumble bee!

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