Readers’ wildlife photos

We have two contributors today. Reader Ivar sent some diverse photos, and we’ll have some moths (not from readers) later today. His notes are indented.

I bought an exceptionally versatile new lens that has helped create beautiful bird images as well as bugs in good detail.

Grasshopper– I don’t know for species details [readers?]- caught amongst my cannabis plants this spring.


Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus) observed at the pacific Ocean near Westport, WA.


Red-flanked Bluetail– (Tarsiger cyanurus) included more for its rarity in North America, this bird near Lewiston, Idaho being only the fourth instance of its observation in North America. It is native primarily to Russia.


Northern ShrikeLanius excubitor , juvenile


Reader Greg Geisler sent owls, or rather Four Ways of Looking at an Owl. His notes:

I don’t have a fancy camera so I’m hoping that these pass your standards!
These are photos of a Western Screech Owl [Megascops kennicottii]that lives in our backyard about 25 feet from my office window. We put up this roosting box about four years ago and we have had a Winter tenant every year since. He appears a bit miffed by the paparazzi in the first image!
decowl owl1015 owl1216 owl031615


  1. Posted January 12, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Cool photos. A screech owl’s call at night will turn your insides to jelly (if you are walking around outside in the dark).

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 13, 2017 at 3:07 am | Permalink

      This winter, a few times, I’ve been lucky enough to have both a screech owl and (one or two) Great Horneds both calling some nights. Like some primordial symphony.

  2. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    All great pics! The disgruntled stare of that owl with the wicked talons…

    Definitely needs some of the chillin’ cannabis owned by that guard grasshopper!

    • ivarhusa
      Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      That hopper freaked ME out when I saw him. 🙂

  3. Marilee Lovit
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The snowy plover has 4 leg bands that I can see. Left leg: red above pink, right leg: white above green.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Red is port, green is starboard. Not sure what the others mean.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 13, 2017 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      Snowy Plover leg bands:

      Here in MI, it’s the Piping Plovers that present with all the leg bands, said plovers having been the subject of a concentrated effort to save their breeding populations via habitat protection. Snowy Plovers are unbanded, as they seldom even occur. As a matter of fact, I reported only the 4th state record Snowy Plover 2 years ago… 🙂

  4. Damien McLeod
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Stoned out Grasshopper.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Very good! I really like the screech owl. Your nice grasshopper picture is likely of a
    two-striped grasshopper, Melanoplus bivittatus:

  6. eric
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Nice pics. I’m taking my kid out on an “owl hike” this Friday evening, though I expect we will only see pellets, no actual owls.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 13, 2017 at 3:13 am | Permalink

      Hearing owls is a lot easier. 🙂 But pellets themselves are fascinating.

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Love those owl pictures. Nice house.

  8. hypotheses
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Ivar, can you tell us just which lens helped you get these photos? Great color. Sign me envious.

    • ivarhusa
      Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Canon’s new 100-400 Mk2 is an exceptional lens. Add a 12mm extension and resolve down to 0.0001″. In the spring I’ll find more small targets to shoot, like bugs. Am thinking about braving temps down to 10F this weekend to shoot pics/vid of coyotes. (Believe it when you see it!)

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 13, 2017 at 3:14 am | Permalink

        I’d like to hold you to that! 🙂

  9. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful owl shots. But he (she?) does look pissed-off with the paparazzi.

  10. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Owls – so good. Interesting tags on plover.

  11. ploubere
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    All nice. Yes, what is the lens?

  12. Diane G.
    Posted January 13, 2017 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Ivar–none of my business, but are you in one of the increasing number of Cannibis-safe states?

    My son, now a graduate student in Idaho, got the Bluetail last week–what an incredible find for Idaho! And thanks for the shrike pic–I’ve never seen a juvenile before!

  13. Diane G.
    Posted January 13, 2017 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Greg, what great shots of such a sweet owl! I am envious of your close association with this bird. Interesting that it is only a winter resident.

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