Today’s a day to display singleton photos and others that are sent in a few at a time. The indented bits are the readers’ commentaries:
Reader Cliff Moser sends a picture of a fearsome caterpillar. But it’s really quite a common one:
I’ve attached a single photo of one of 4 large tomato hornworms [Manduca quinquemaculata] found and dispatched from my Berkeley, California garden. I’m hoping to find one with parasitic braconid wasp cocoons and will send if and when I spot one.the photo has a little forced perspective, making it appear more mothra-like than it actually was.
These giants eventually undergo metamorphosis, turning into the beautiful five-spotted hawkmoth (picture from What’s That Bug?):
Reader Tim Anderson in Oz sends us a bird famous for its camouflage:
This is a mature tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) resting in a backyard tree in suburban Brisbane, Queensland. This individual regularly spends the entire day more or less stationary until dusk, when it flies off to begin its night’s hunting. It is completely oblivious to the humans beetling about nearby, only occasionally swivelling its head to peer at us. It is about 40cm from beak to tail tip. Frogmouths are fairly common, even in urban areas, and are closely related to nightjars, but in this case was rather easy to spot.
From Stephen Barnard in Idaho:
Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas). I think this is the only amphibian photo I’ve sent you.
Doris Fromage sent an email headed “Vulture sinuses this time!”
My dear husband just got a new camera! We live on a hill, and our avocado orchard spreads out down the hillside below us. Various large carnivorous birds/raptors tend to soar around our property, often virtually at eye level or even below. Here is a turkey vulture! Cathartes aura is its interesting name, which means “cleansing breeze” in Latin, which I find hilarious given that they are carrion scavengers. What I like best about this picture is that we can see straight through the nares to blue sky on the other side, thus clearing up any lingering questions about the structure of a turkey buzzard’s nostrils!
And a “spot the ___” from reader Michelle Pearce:
Too easy? Fork-tailed drongo, banana beak (hornbill), and mongoose in Kruger National Park.
And reader Randy Schenck in Iowa is nice to his animals. These photos were sent in May:
We are into the nesting time for birds so they need more feeding now. Many might think they only need to feed in winter but not so. To determine if you have Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) around the area just cut an orange in half and hang it on a feeder. It is like magic to the Oriole. I will look for nests later as the female Oriole builds a very interesting nest.
We have many rose-breasted grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus) around and again, if you feed the birds you will soon find out how many are in your area.
You can identify this one, also sent by Randy: