Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a diversity of photos today, but remember to send your good ones in, as the tank is continually draining.

The first one comes from Garry VanGelderen, who lives in Ontario (all readers’ notes indented):

Male pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) on my suet feeder, in my backyard in the last few days [sent on Jan. 7]:

Another bird feeding in the winter: a male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), contributed by Nicole Reggia:


I’m not sure whether Stephen Barnard is back from New Zealand yet, but he sent a photo of one of his activities there.

Here’s a brown trout (Salmo trutta) I caught yesterday [Feb. 12]:


And a fancy star picture from reader Tim Anderson in Australia:

Attached is an image of the globular cluster of stars known as 47 Tucanae in the southern night sky. It contains over a million stars and lies so far south in the sky that it never rises for people in the northern hemisphere north of 18 degrees. It is the second brightest object of its type in the sky and is clearly visible to the naked eye.
This image was constructed from 30 separate 10-second exposures each of filtered red, green and blue light, plus another 30 of “Hydrogen alpha” (the specific wavelength emitted by excited hydrogen atoms). The exposures were taken using a 110mm refracting telescope and a monochrome CCD camera fitted with the appropriate filters, then processed using the Nebulosity astrophotography application.
Wikipedia adds this information about the cluster:

47 Tucanae (or NGC 104) is a globular cluster located in the constellation Tucana. It is about 16,700 light years away from Earth, and 120 light years across. It can be seen with the naked eye, with a visual apparent magnitude of 4.9. Its number comes not from the Flamsteed catalogue, but the more obscure 1801 “Allgemeine Beschreibung und Nachweisung der Gestirne nebst Verzeichniss” compiled by Johann Elert Bode.

In February 2017, indirect evidence for an intermediate-mass black hole in 47 Tucanae was announced


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Great photo of the woodpecker and an excellent fish.

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Very good!I would be thrilled to see that woodpecker. I believe I hear them, and see their spectacular handywork, though.

    Very good globular cluster pix, along with the information.

  3. littleboybrew
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Love those pileated woodpeckers. Truly magnificent.

  4. Don McCrady
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Nice 47 Tuc photo. I’m curious why you added hydrogen alpha to this image. Have you tried it with just red, green, blue? I’m thinking that the colors may come out more if there are fewer channels. Nice job nonetheless.

  5. Christopher
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Pileated woodpeckers are a sight to behold. I’m so very thankful we still have them. Lucky for them and us that they have a broader range of habitats and thus have avoided following the Ivory-Billed and most likely the Imperial woodpeckers into extinction.

  6. rickflick
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Nice shots all.
    The pileated woodpecker always reminds me of the lost ivorybill.

    I want to visit the globular cluster. No two ways about it. I’ll inspect each star’s planetary sytem for life and advanced life and get back to you with the pictures.

  7. Posted February 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    4.9, eh? That’s going to be hard to see if there’s light pollution, I think.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Nice trout! Makes me wanna fish Big Two-Hearted River outta the book case, put A River Runs Through It on the blue ray.

    Or maybe even actually go fishin’.

  9. Karen Bartelt
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    So jealous. A good pileated pic has so far eluded me! Beautiful!

  10. zytigon
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    For people interested in astrophotography there is a fabulous website: by Professor of astronomy Courtney Seligman who runs the planetarium at Long beach city college, California. He has put a photo to most of the 7840 New General Catalog objects. It is easy to scroll through them. Take the grand tour of the universe. It is a bit of a chore but I did it over a few evenings recently. Go where few have seen before. It has taken the whole history of technological advances to produce this. Many of the astrophotos are from the Hubble space telescope. It is a more systematic way of seeing what it out there than the more random but also superb apodnasa pages.

    • Tim Anderson
      Posted February 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Another good option is to install a planetarium app on your phone or tablet. Skysafari and Night Sky Tools have wonderful pictures and descriptions of objects to see in the sky.

  11. Dale Franzwa
    Posted February 16, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic brown trout Stephen. I could only wish I might have caught one like it. What did you catch it on, fly, lure? Eat it or release it? Did you weigh it? We fishermen want to know all the details.

    That star cluster was also amazing.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:50 am | Permalink

      Sight fishing with a nymph.

      • Dale Franzwa
        Posted February 17, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        Thank you.

%d bloggers like this: