Readers’ wildlife photographs

We’re featuring again today the photos of our youngest contributor, Jamie Blilie (12). His dad James gives the descriptions (indented):

My 12-year-old son Jamie has been busy with his camera again! [JAC: it’s a Canon Powershot SX 530 “super zoom” camera.]  I am amazed at how vivid their colors are in winter. Our feeders are really bringing in the birds.  My wife has seen a pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) come to the feeder but Jamie and I weren’t around for that.  Jamie’s big ambition is to photograph a pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). They are quite shy.
Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus), with bonus chickadee blur.


Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus):


A red squirrel (Tamiascirus hudsonicus) – it’s a little fuzzy due to the layers of window glass it was shot through:


Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata):


Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). I am amazed at how vivid their colors are in winter.



Downy woodpeckers (Dryobates pubescens).  I particularly like the silhouette shot:



And, the big one this morning [Dec. 17]:  A Coyote (Canis latrans), crossing our pond.  This is suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul. Plenty of coyotes around here.



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Great pics!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Canon Powershot SX 530 “super zoom” Appears to have 16MP – a similar model – the SX540 – has 50X.

    to compare, iPhone 6 is 8 MP and no zoom.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      It is pretty impressive, though, how a camera in that range can deliver good pictures. I have a friend at work who regularly takes pictures with her iPhone, and enlarges them –> about 8X12. They hold up really well.

      • Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        I’ve done many 13 X 19 inch prints from my old 6MPxl Pentax camera. Plenty of pixels. It’s the resolving power of the lens (and contrast, aberrations, distortion, vignetting, bokeh, etc.) that tell when an image is enlarged.

        A DSLR (or what I use now, a high-quality micro 4/3 camera-lens(es) system) has a much higher quality lens.

        The lens on the Canon SX530 is quite good; but it suffers from the inevitable compromises in optics driven by the huge zoom range. However, they seem to have looked after the high end (1200mm equivalent) pretty well. I continue to be amazed at the images it delivers for Jamie.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 30, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          Yes, the high zoom range is what often suffers with “super zooms”, which I find funny since that’s the feature (zooming) that the companies, making the cameras, promote. This Canon does seem quite good – not producing aberrations or noise.

          • Posted January 3, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            Yes, it is remarkably good. I imagine some of the aberrations are corrected in internal SW.

      • Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Mark, I just noticed that it was you who made this comment. Obviously, I didn’t need to tell you any of that!

        And, yes, I am amazed at how good my iphone camera does. I have learned how to do exp-comp and selective focus with it which helps a lot too. Especially the exp-comp of course.

        It will never substitute for a “real” camera for me; but for some quick images when I’m out driving around — not bad!

  3. Debra Coplan
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Lovely, lovely pictures. They show such a beautiful sensitivity to the subjects.
    I especially love the fuzziness of the squirrel photo. Shooting the squirrel through the glass really softens him/her even if it might not have been what you would have liked to do. It makes a really gorgeous photo.
    Love the striking pictures of the red cardinal against the grey background. I have never had the pleasure of seeing one in real life. Great to see all that detail in those photos.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Excellent work, Jamie!! ‘Ya know, I think the lens can take a Raynox lens and with that you can get into some macro-photography… 😗

    • Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      I’ve spoken to him about close-up work. He may get interested; but not yet. 🙂

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Great pics – the red squirrel looks like it has a bit of tummy upset:

    “Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten so many of those seeds so quickly!”

  6. darrelle
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I especially like the 2nd male cardinal picture. Beautiful. He looks like he has been eating very well so far this winter!

    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Is this how to send in photos?  My back yard is basically the Kalmiopsis wilderness in SW Oregon.This is one of my cats: you enjoy.Kathy Mechling

    • Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Send in photos by Googling my name and my university; my work email will come up and you can send them there.

  8. Heather Hastie
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Great pics Jamie, as always.

  9. Posted December 30, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    It looks like a nice camera, but has no viewfinder. That’s a requirement for me.

    In any case, Jamie takes great pictures! Thanks.

    • Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Yes, no viewfinder.

      I am using (and am extremely happy with) several Olympus E-M-10 micro 4/3 cameras which do have a viewfinder — a digital one.

      It took a little getting used to a digital viewfinder; but now I love it — mainly because it’s a full heads-up display and also, especially, because it provide s real-time continuous preview of the exposure.

      I mainly shoot in aperture priority auto-exp mode and tweak the exposure with exp-comp. In A mode, the aperture and exp-comp are in two vertical-axis wheels on the top if the camera body, right where you want them for your thumb and forefinger. Great UIF.

  10. Posted January 27, 2017 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Lovely bird

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