Readers’ wildlife photos: The Milky Way & Hummingbirds

Thanks to the talents of WEIT’s readers, we have some especially nice photos today. Tim Anderson, who is adept in taking photographs of the cosmos, sent this in with the comment:

Here is a photograph of a small section of the Milky Way showing the stars and clouds of dust and gas that inhabit the disk of the galaxy.


And WEIT Regular Stephen Barnard sent Jerry two more hummingbird photographs.

Black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri).


JAC: I’ve seen a fair few of these in New Mexico and Arizona. They’re denizens of the western US and Mexico.You can hear their call here: Audio Recording.

Rufous hummingbird. (Selasphorus rufus). You can see me and the room I’m shooting from reflected in the eye.


[Grania] I think the eye looks like a jewel. This is their range. If you click through on the map link, there is an audio sample you can listen to as well of this hummingbird’s call.


  1. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Very good. Tim, is this, say, a 10 sec. timed exposure? It is really amazing that you can get the different colors in our galaxy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      The photo is a stack of ten shots, each of 8 seconds.

  2. Posted July 23, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’“““““““““““““““““““““ So that’s what the kitteh typed.

    So this is me now:
    These photos are thrilling. And to think I was so pleased with myself the other evening, when we had a splendid pink candy-floss sunset with wispy clouds and a sliver of moon; my hand didn’t shake when I took the photo. 🙂 Wish WP would allow a simple copy and paste, right here.

  3. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I saw this (self serving) zoo announcement on manul births from the Nordic Ark project:

    Besides building up a zoo inventory, they claim they are doing comparison studies with wild populations to learn more about the species. (The particularly high incidence and problems with toxoplasmosis in zoo populations that they mention would rather tell against having them, in my opinion.)

    [ ]

  4. daniel bertini
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Phenomenal pix!!

  5. Ken Elliott
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    We had a hummingbird partaking of canna nectar in the brightly lit driveway of our house late the other night. I tried taking pics and, as awesome as is the digital camera that comes with my new LG G4 smarterthanme phone, it was not able to capture the tiny tawny flitterer. They are fascinating little creatures. I was a bit surprised he/she was so active well past sundown.

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Wow! That close-up of the Hummingbird is fantastic. Great job, Stephen!

    • rickflick
      Posted July 23, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink


  7. John Scanlon, FCD
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The Milky Way shot reminds me of the Emu in the sky, which I only read about recently and haven’t yet looked at from a dark enough location.

  8. Posted July 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    What are the likely effects of that eye? Polarized light detection? tetrachromacy?

  9. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Amazing pics!

  10. Mark R.
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Too bad the bronze age people couldn’t see our Milky Way as is shown in this amazing photo, and too bad they didn’t understand our tiny place in the vastness of it all. Perhaps all the religious bs would have never happened. Oh what might have never been.

    Perfect bif Stephen (or rather hif). Beautiful!

  11. JoanL
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Breathtaking photos! And thanks for the links to the bird calls.

  12. Ann German
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    We have had black chinned hummers in NW Montana the last five years or so . . . before that, it was almost exclusively rufous and calliope. . . have to admit I am prejudiced towards the latter two as they are more colorful, and the black chinned seem to be better at hogging the feeders

  13. Posted July 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on dyke writer.

  14. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Amazing all around.

  15. Richard Portman
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Great photos! Always a big problem when a hummingbird gets trapped in garage, stairwell, etc. You can open doors, but they usually go up, for skylight or window.
    Dad had a pet store fishnet on end of a pole.
    Don’t chase the poor creature, but when it gets tired, you can usually scoop them up & quickly release outside.

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