Readers’ wildlife photographs

When I’m on the road it’s easier for me to post readers’ photographs from emails than from my folder (which I’ll bring to Poland nonetheless), so by all means send me your good photograph on Friday or thereafter. Today we feature our most stalwart stalwart, Stephen Barnard from Idaho.

Stephen originally identified this as a “Female Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) in various poses,” but he now says this:

Social media is trending toward female Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope), and I tend to agree, mostly because of the short tail compared to the Broad-tailed. The Internet is a marvelous thing. The females and juveniles of these species are very hard to tell apart.  The mature breeding males are super obvious. [JAC: I’ve put a photo of a male below.]





Here’s a photo of a male Calliope Hummingbird in its mating display, when it fans out its chin feathers (photo from Trek Nature):


This bull moose (Alces alces) got Deets’s [the border collie’s] attention this morning. I like the backlighting on the velvet antlers.


Spot the nighthawk [Chordeiles minor]:



  1. Posted July 26, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos Stephen! Thanks!

  2. Sastra
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The hummingbirds are finally eating from my feeder! All the time! After 3 years! Yay!

    Just had to give public note.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted July 26, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      That must be a great thrill! Not something we can experience here in the UK sadly!

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted July 26, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Now you have a solemn obligation to keep it full and clean. It’s very important that it be kept clean.

      I boil(briefly) a 4:1 solution of sugar (4 pints water, 1 pint sugar) and keep it covered in the refrigerator. I clean and replenish daily. Don’t use red dye.

  3. somer
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The hummingbirds are just stunning

  4. Debbie Coplan
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Photos are very exciting to see. Really fantastic-

  5. Posted July 26, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Finally, a nightjar that’s easy to spot.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted July 26, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      That bird and others were dive-bombing me. (When they pulled up from the dive their wings made an odd sound.) They were also attacking other unidentified small birds in flight.

      I’d never before seen this aggressive behavior. It’s explained, I think, because an injured nighthawk was perched in the tree I was standing next to, making plaintive calls. They were upset about that.

      • Ann German
        Posted July 26, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Night hawks are some of my favorite birds here in NW Montana. The sound they make that you describe as “odd” is their boom, which sounds to me like a tractor trailer rig employing its “jake brake.”

        This from an Audubon write:

        ” . . . the male nighthawk generating feather sounds during a brief nosedive. Their booming display is easily missed, leaving you to puzzle as to the source of such an odd outburst. It lends the nighthawk its other common name, the bullbat, like a bat in flight that sounds like a distant bellowing bull. So as a fiery summer sunset unfolds, look for nighthawks peacefully plying the sky, and listen for their distinctive booming.

  6. Karen Bartelt
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Great photos, as usual! Love the mating display.

  7. darrelle
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous pics, especially the hummingbirds, and especially the chin feather display shot. I’ve never seen or heard of that before.

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Simply gorgeous. And it is good to see you back into taking pictures of hummers.

%d bloggers like this: