Readers’ wildlife photographs

Today’s photos are by a father-and-son team, reader James Blilie and his 12-year-old son Jamie. The first batch is from Jamie, and James’s photos are at bottom. Their notes are indented:

These [first batch below] were all taken this summer by my 12-year old son Jamie.  All were taken in Oregon and (mostly) Washington state, in June and July 2016.  Most were taken on our place in rural Washington.

A western bluebird (Sialia mexicana), bringing chow for the kids


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dog-day cicada (Tibicen canicularis). Jamie caught it (and immediately released it) on our place.  We have lots of these.

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A house wren (Troglodytes aedon), taken on Orcas Island, WA.

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This is (we think) a purple finch (Haemorhous purpureus).

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golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis), taken at 6500 feet in the Oregon Cascades.

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western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis); we have lots of these too.

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California Quail (Callipepla californica) cock.  Jamie pursued this guy around our place for about 20 minutes to get these shots.

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And then I [James] have a few of my own shots (same time and place as Jamie’s photos):

A family of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in my friends’ back yard, Seattle, WA.

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Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) at sunset under Mt. Adams, Washington State.

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#51008 is an old log of (probably) subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), 6500 feet elevation, Oregon Cascades.

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Two rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) fighting over a feeder.

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Rufous hummingbird at rest.

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6 Comments

  1. Christopher
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Great pics, especially love the California Quail.

    and I’ve given up trying to differentiate between H. mexicanus and H. purpureus. I just call them all Purple House Finches (very scientific of me, no?) We get both where I live, but I can’t tell the difference between them unless they’re both at the feeder at the same time.

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      I always look at the very top of the head, if I can get a good view of it. If it’s brown, it’s a house finch. If it’s pink, it’s a purple finch.

      I actually find the females much easier to tell apart than the males. The female purple finch is a much richer brown than the female house, and has a distinctive white stripe over the eye. She looks at lot like a miniature female rose-breasted grosbeak, actually. Always stands out from the female house finches.

      • Christopher
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        I ashamedly admit to overlooking the females of several species as “LBJ’s”, or little brown jobbers; for two years I thought “meh, more sparrows” until I realized half my “sparrows” were actually pine siskins. D’Oh!

  2. Pete Moulton
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Nice work by both Blilies. I think that’s a Purple Finch too. Even the brightest male House Finches typically have some brown streaking on the underparts.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I read ‘brown streaking on the underparts’ as ‘brown streaking on the underpants‘, and just about spewed my coffee.

  3. rickflick
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Excellent imaging.
    You’ve documented that both ends of the bluebird are functioning properly. 😎


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