Readers’ wildlife photos (IDs needed)

We have some bird pictures from reader Karen Bartelt. She didn’t ID the bird but I suspect it’s a ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris); readers please verify.

We feed hummingbirds all spring and summer.  This little guy had a habit of landing on a milkweed near the house, so I shot some photos.  When I looked at them, I was shocked – they looked like the bird had a laser pointer pointed on his chest.  Actually, this is a very immature male getting the first red feather on his ruby throat.



And a lovely picture of a spider and the moment her offspring hatch, provided by reader Diana MacPherson of Ontario. If you know the identification of this spider, put it below.

I noticed this spider outside my bathroom window a week or so ago. She was eating a pest: a Japanese Beetle. Then I noticed her with eggs & today & saw the hatchlings coming out of the eggs so I got my camera with its macro lens & took this picture. I think she may be a Branch Tip Spider but I’m not sure which one, so I can’t really apply a Latin binomial to this one; and I may be totally wrong about the identification altogether.

Branch Tip Spider & Hatchlings


  1. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Likely one of the cobweb weavers, and I suspect a house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum).

    • geckzilla
      Posted August 19, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Strange, I had a comment here and was going to update it, but it’s gone… either way, I was going to say Parasteatoda tepidariorum too, based on the comment about the egg sacs on this page:

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 19, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Or maybe yous are right. The legs look different in this picture.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 19, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Her legs aren’t as long as the spiders in those pictures. She has rather short legs.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted August 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        They make a series of egg sacs, and this one is still full of eggs. Her big abdomen makes the legs look smaller. I guess I’m digging in.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 19, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Yeah I think you might be right about what kind of spider she is. I really like this spider as she just sits there eating pests.

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Lovely hummingbird pictures!!

    I wondered if the spider were a branch tip spider….it makes what I call a “messy” web, i.e.: not an orb weaver web.

  3. Karen Bartelt
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Yes, it’s a ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). The only kind of hummingbird native to Central IL, unfortunately.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 19, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I have one that visits my butterfly bush, but so far I cannot get decent pix with my zoom lens.

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