Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have an assortment of photos and videos from four readers. First, a video sent by Stephen Barnard on Monday:

A snow storm came through yesterday. I did a quick edit of some timelapse footage.

He asks us to “spot the mallards” in this video; click on the word “vimeo” at the lower right to go to the full-sized clip.

Reader David Fuqua sent duck photos with these notes:

Here are pictures of a Bufflehead duck (Bucephala albeola[top]) and a Ringed-Neck ducks (Aythya collaris [bottom]) taken recently in Arkansas, where they will winter. Both species are diving ducks.



Reader Simon Lawson sent a butterfly that’s hit on an ingenious form of camouflage:

Here’s another moth pic from Borneo.  This one is not as spectacularly pretty (or as large) as the Atlas moth I sent previously, but a favourite of mine nonetheless. It seems to have hit on a different solution to camouflage. No need to blend in by mimicking particular colors and patterns of tree trunks when all you need to do is make at least part of your wings translucent!  It looks slightly incongruous on the blue-painted house wall, but I suspect it would be hard to pick up on  a natural surface.  I have no idea what species this may be, but possibly a geometrid. [JAC: readers should weigh in below if they know.]


Finally, snakes from Garry VanGelderen in Ontario:

Since you are looking for more wildlife shots, I offer this one: garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) peeking out from behind our brick facade. There is a bit of a gap between the bricks and the insulation. They like to hide there and come out when the sun warms the bricks.




  1. Rob
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Love the snake pics. And, nice to see the ring on the Ring-necked Duck.

  2. GBJames
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Great stuff today!

    Mallards were easy to see. Mountains are beautiful.

    What’s not to love about ducks?

    Remarkable moth camouflage strategy. Like he’s wearing a moth-eaten invisibility cloak.

    And snakes being cute? I didn’t know it was possible!

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink


  4. Merilee
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Where in Ontario are those snakes???

    • Garry VanGelderen
      Posted December 9, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Pretty much everywhere, but mostly in the northern parts where it’s rocky. We live about 80 miles north of Toronto.

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted December 9, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Lots of them here in Eastern Ontario. They love all the rocky terrain along the lake and lay in wait for poor hapless frogs. I have seen many a frog dispatched. No pictures, alas.

        My cat will occasionally come across a garter snake in the grass, and is scared of them! He’ll jump a foot in the air and run away as fast as he can from the reptile.

        One year, a female garter laid her eggs in the folds of the tarp covering my canoe. When they hatched, there were what seemed like dozens of baby snakes (adorable!) slithering about all over the place. Not for the squeamish. Snakes don’t bother me. Well, garters anyway.

        • Lars
          Posted December 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Garter snakes don’t lay eggs – they’re live-bearers> is it possible that the mother just hid in the folds of the tarp and gave birth there?

    • Lars
      Posted December 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      A range map for Ontario can be found at

  5. rickflick
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    “spot the mallards” – I see them. I also noticed a slow, Ken Burns, push and pan at the end.

    Love the ducks and snakes and strangely marked moth. The moth would look especially interesting against some text.

    • GBJames
      Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Great idea! A photo of that moth sitting on a page from On the Origin of Species would be very cool!

  6. Christopher
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    How fantastic to have garter snakes as house guests! I could only be so lucky! I am absolutely green (and perhaps black on yellow) with envy.

  7. Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    One of my favorite aspects of your blog Jerry are the “reader’s wildlife photos.”

    And in this go around, the snakes are the winners.

    Carl Kruse

  8. Kevin
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Snakes in the wall. Ack. I am afraid they would not last long with my cats.

  9. Achrachno
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    A very nice assortment!

    I’ve been puzzling over the clear-winged moth. It’s not in Geometridae, and I’m going to suggest Arctiidae. But, I’ve not matched it in my brief efforts, so no idea of genus or other finer grouping.

  10. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The snakes in particular gave me a delightful shiver!

    I found the moth easily enough: Carriola ecnomoda.

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I love those snakes! They look like they are all looking at something:

    Snake on the bottom: Hey, look, Stan is melting again!

    Snakes on the top: Where?!

    • busterggi
      Posted December 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink


  12. Posted December 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful stuff as always Stephen. I love the time-lapse!

  13. jaxkayaker
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Love the snakes, they look inquisitive.

    The moth seems to be mimicking dead leaves, with part of the leaves having decayed away, with only the leaf venation remaining.

  14. Diane G.
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Great vid & shots!

    Those snakes are captivating!

  15. Richard Thomas
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Do the garter snakes come out during the winter? Does it warm up enough? Or are those pictures, and your general experience with the snakes, just just from the spring, summer, or fall?

    • Garry VanGelderen
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The snakes are hiding as soon as the snow falls (like right now). They will seek the warm sunshine pretty much from March till November.

  16. Posted December 14, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s where Maid in Manhattan was filmed and whilst
    it actually is not probably the most glamorous of accommodation, it has spacious rooms, a Starbucks
    in the foyer, (a huge, impressive Christmas tree too for those who are available in December) and a first-rate location.

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