Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some diverse photos today, but the tank is running a little low, so please send your good wildlife photos.

First, a bittersweet wildlife story (and lovely photo) from reader Sylvain Duford:

This Red-legged Honeycreeper [Cyanerpes cyaneus] was flying around with his all-green female and they both hit a window pane. Unfortunately the female died half-hour later but this male was stunned and unable to fly for about 15 minutes but eventually he flew away. He rested on a nearby tree branch for about two hours waiting for his mate.
I had to protect them from the cat and it was a very humbling experience to hold this tiny and delicate but beautiful animal in my hand. Caressing his back gently seemed to calm him down as he was obviously very stressed. I hope the little guy is OK now.
I live in Panama where we have close to a thousand bird species, but I had actually never seen this one.

Sylvain Duford BlueColibri

Here are four snaps from from Phil Finnimore, who lives in Singapore, where I’ll be in late October/early November:

Some Australian wildlife for you. Kite, Koel, Pademelon and Whiptail wallaby.

Black-shouldered kiteElanus axillaris. Taken near Brunswick Heads in northern New South Wales.


Pacific koelEudynamys orientalis. Often called rain bird or storm bird. These are more often heard than seen, and this one is female, and sighted even less often. Taken in the back garden of my house in Ocean Shores, NSW.

Red-necked pademelonThylogale thetis. Taken at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland.

Whiptail wallaby. Also called Pretty-faced wallaby, Macropus parryi. Near O’Reilly’s Retreat, Gold Coast Hinterland. QLD.


And a lovely snake from reader Rick Longworth:
This was my first sighting of the eastern milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum). Apparently a common species which has avoided me for a very long time. I photographed it as it passed through my driveway.  It is quite striking in pattern – spots, almost rings; and color – tan, black and reddish brown.
Rick Longworth
I was confused looking for info, since its cousin the western milk snake (Lampropeltis gentilis) has some striking differences. While it is harmless, it  has rings rather than spots and resembles the very poisonous coral snake. You’ve probably heard, “Red touches yellow, kills a fellow. Red touches black, friend of Jack”.  That’s what I’d call a strained bit of rhyme since most people are not Jack.  Anyway, the rings must be mimicry, intended to keep hands off.
JAC: Here’s a western milk snake from the Tucson Herpetological Society:
Here’s a video clip (30 sec) I shot with a Panasonic GH3:


  1. Posted August 21, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Sad/happy story, Sylvain, and a beautiful photo. What a wonderful bird!

  2. jaxkayaker
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    The honeycreeper is beautiful; too bad about the female.

    I envy the eastern milk snake sighting, I’ve never seen one in the wild despite years of herping.

    The western milk snake (Lampropeltis gentilis, according to the linked page) looks remarkably like the scarlet kingsnake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) to my eye, but apparently they were once considered subspecies of the same species.

  3. Christopher
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Great photos as usual, with the added bonus of introducing me to several species I’d never heard of before, especially the Pademelons. Adorable! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. A quick search shows that the name was a corruption of ‘Badimaliyan’, from the Dharuk aboriginal language. It appears that although they are chomped on by the introduced red foxes as well as being on the menu for the local dingo diners, and as usual are victims of habitat destruction, they are listed as species of least concern by the IUCN.

  4. J Cook
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Mountain King Snake?

  5. Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The rhyme I learned was: Red next to yellow will kill a fellow; red next to black, no fear of attack.

    • Benjamin
      Posted August 21, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      The version I learn’t was:

      Red follows yellow, kill a fellow; red follows black, venom lack.

      • Benjamin
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink


    • Lurker111
      Posted August 21, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Version I heard was:

      Red next to yellow, dangerous fellow.
      Red next to black, venom they lack.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        That’s the best sounding version to my ear. The main thing to remember is red next to yellow.

  6. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Very nice pictures. I was looking up info about why the Pacific koel is called the rainbird and learned it is b/c their call is said to foreshadow rain.
    I also found that they practice kleptoparasitism, meaning they lay eggs in the nests of other birds. But unlike the cuckoo birds that famously do that, the chicks do not seek to kill the chicks of their hosts.

    • Marlene Zuk
      Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      I thought kleptoparasitism was stealing from other individuals, like frigatebirds do, and brood parasitism was laying eggs in the nests of another?

      Brood parasitism has been on my mind because I heard a fabulous talk at a recent conference from Malte Andersson, the scientist who famously glued extensions onto the tails of widowbirds and showed the importance of female choice in sexual selection. He was pointing out that many birds have conspecific brood parasitism, where females lay eggs in others’ nests but also rear their own chicks. He sees it as a form of cooperation, because often the “host” is a relative. Interesting stuff.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted August 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        You are right on that.

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 21, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Lovely pictures all!

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