Send those photos in, folks, as my tank is only about 30% full. Today we have a mélange of photos from several readers. First, some some lovely fall photos from James Blilie:
What I think are all sugar maples (Acer saccharum), all taken in Shawano County, Wisconsin, October 2016. The sugar maple is the state tree of Wisconsin.
And one animal: A flight of Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) flying over Shawano County, Wisconsin, October 2016.
Dick Kleinknecht sent three photos, with the last requiring a raptor ID.
While looking for something else, I came upon a photo I took a couple of years ago. Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) were eradicated from Washington state and have been reintroduced during the past decade or so. They seem to be making a successful comeback. I was driving along the eastern shore of the Columbia River between Wenatchee and Lake Chelan when I saw this fellow standing on a small bluff just watching the automobile traffic. I stopped and added his picture to my collection. Handsome critter, eh?
The mama downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is on the right and she is feeding her recently fledged offspring, on the left. Several times last summer the fledgling would fly to the suet cage, land on it, and wait for his mom to come feed him. It took him a couple of weeks or more to figure out that he could feed himself.
I heard a large crash on my back patio. When I went to investigate, I saw a large entangled mass of feathers unsteadily flying away. It didn’t go too far before landing. It seems one large bird attacked another not-quite-so-large bird and was flying away with its prize. They settled in for a bit, so I went for my camera. They were barely in range for my zoom lens, but this is the best I could do.
It appears that the loser is/was a flicker. We have many of them all the time, so that is not strange. I’m not sure what species the winner belongs to. The best I’ve come up with is a sharp-shinned hawk. Any idea?
Milford Sound, New Zealand. Not a great photo, but it shows that I’m here! There must have been some enormous glaciers carving these fjords. The scenery is spectacular but the weather is difficult. Tomorrow I going on a two-day boat trip to Doubtful Sound.
By the way, I’m pretty sure I saw a Weka (Gallirallus australis) in the RV park. I thought these ground-nesting birds, endemic to New Zealand, had been extirpated by introduced predators except in a few protected places.
JAC: A weka (Gallirallus australis) is an flightless rail endemic to New Zealand and, like many flightless birds, it’s threatened. Here’s a picture I got from the Internet: