Readers’ wildlife photographs

Pressed for time as I start preparing for the Big Exodus to Southeast Asia, I was glad to receive some photos from Stephen Barnard yesterday, allowing me to prepare this in advance. (I still have everyone else’s photos, so be patient.) His notes are indented:

First, a couple of photos of Lucy (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), the first with starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). I’ve been seeing murmurations as the starlings gather into flocks of thousands.



I’m convinced that the pair of eagles that nest on my place have become used to me and to my dogs. A few weeks ago I sent a visiting photographer to photograph them in this exact spot and they spooked immediately as he approached. They don’t spook for me, at this place or elsewhere. They’ve seen me hundreds of times, usually with the enormous camera/lens I typically carry. I think they regard me with mild annoyance.

Next, starlings on a fence after a murmuration.


Next, a Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)in flight. I rather like the motion blur of the wings while the head a beak is pretty sharp.


Belted Kingfisher  at rest.


Finally, some fall color at Silver Creek.



  1. Jim Knight
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    As always, Stephen, excellent photography! Thank you for sharing them…!

  2. rickflick
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    That Kingfisher is beautiful. I love it when they hover.
    Silver Creek has many shades of warm earth tones. It would be fun to paint. Those mountains will soon have snow (if they don’t yet). What town is this near?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      The nearest town is Picabo, which is very small. The nearest town you may have heard of is Ketchum/Sun Valley.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Looks like a great place to get off the main highway and camp or take pictures.

    • Posted October 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Great pictures of a lovely bird. They are common here in Seattle. I don’t know if the coastal and inland birds are variants.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I think of starlings as having yellow beaks. Are the ones above a Western species? Also introduced / non-native?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      The beaks are yellow in the summer during breeding season. They’re black in the winter.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink


        Does the beak keep growing and get worn down, like parrots (I think) to get the color change?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Starlings are an introduced species in North America. They’ve caused a lot of harm to endemic cavity-nesting birds.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Great photos and at a fine time of year. That Kingfisher is excellent.

  5. Christopher
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    How frustrating it is that in the UK the starling is on quite severe decline while in the US they continue to proliferate at the expense of our native birds.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink


  7. Posted October 17, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Especially love the starlings photo Stephen: Wonderful shot.

  8. keith cook +/-
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Nice to have a real-ationship (even if it’s only in your own head) with creatures of the wild. Is Deets always with you? if so, he has one too, i wondered if the other photographer had had deets with him/her as to whether their tolerance level would go up and except him/her in the midst.
    I like the way this bird is looking at you in the second pic, very amusing.
    And of course the last is a bit like a painting. Nice.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Deets is usually with me, and now Hitch, too. When I’m shooting wildlife I consider them my handicap.🙂

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