Readers’ wildlife photos

As I’m traveling, I’ll post pictures that have arrived in the last several days. And, of course, those come from our prolific and talented contributor Stephen Barnard of Idaho:

I believe this is an Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii). I could be wrong, but it looks different from the common snappers I’ve seen. Photographed in Florida.


Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) in sunset light.


Read-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) chicks. Mama wasn’t happy to see me hanging around.



Also, Desi (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) taking off from the nest to chase some ravens.



  1. Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Nice photos! It looks like the easiest way to differentiate between an alligator snapper and a common snapper is that the alligator snapper has the big points on it’s (back) shell, in the middle of each plate, while the common snapper has a relatively smooth shell.

  2. HaggisForBrains
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The turtle looks like it’s being eaten by a shark, tail first.

  3. John
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The snapper has evolved to look like it’s head is a big turd coming out of its back end. An interesting defensive strategy. Not good with the ladies though.

    • John
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Argh, “its”

  4. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The Red-tailed in the fourth photo is an exceptionally dark “dark morph”. I’ve never seen another one even close to that dark.

    • Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Yes, I was going tom comment on that too. Far and away the darkest redtail I’ve seen (in a photo — or in life).

  5. David Campbell
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Eastern snapping turtle. Head shape and beak shape are wrong for the alligator snapping turtle and it lacks the barbels under the chin that would indicate the no longer recognized Florida snapping turtle subspecies. Alligator snappers have a much longer, more slender beak on the upper jaw and a broader head. Except for the lack of barbels it looks exactly like the one in my classroom. Nice photograph. Where in Florida did you take it?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      St. Marks River Preserve State Park near Tallahassee.

  6. Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Tallahassee is within the range of both the regular snapper (Chelydra serpentina) and the alligator snapper (Macroclemys temminckii), but its definitely a regular snapper. Tallahassee is also about where the ranges of the Florida (C. s. osceola) and common (C. s. s.) subspecies meet, and while it indeed has no chin barbels, the neck tubercles (most of which are not visible due to the retracted head) seem a bit long and sort of osceola-ish. (This was supposed to go with Davd Campbell’s comment.)

  7. Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Stunning photos….

  8. Colin
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    How do we submit photos for this feature? Jerry often mentions receiving emails from readers, but I can’t find an email address anywhere on the site.

    • Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Google Jerry’s name and you will find his email easily. Email them to him. (I’m sure he would appreciate resizing the images, so they aren’t multiple megabytes each — just to save his inbox.)

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    “I believe this is an Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii).”

    Pffft! That’s senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

%d bloggers like this: